Skills and Capabilities for Successful Completion of the Nursing Program
Applicants for admission to the Breen School of Nursing are considered on an individual basis
regardless of gender, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, or
physical ability. Students are personally responsible for meeting all standards and qualifications
required for successfully completing the professional nursing curriculum. As students enter into
the curriculum, they need to identify problems that could potentially influence their abilities to
successfully progress through the nursing program.
Students with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities, may be entitled to reasonable
accommodations for educational courses; however, accommodations are not automatically
provided by educational institutions. Due to FERPA guidelines and other laws protecting the
rights of students, faculty members are not permitted to ask students about disabilities. Thus,
students with disabilities are personally responsible for providing the school with documentation
of their disabilities and actively seeking assistance in the form of reasonable accommodations.
Students need to request accommodations at the beginning of each semester by contacting the
Office of Academic Support and Disabilities Services (Mullen 312, 449-2049).
Students with declared disabilities are responsible for working closely with the Office of
Academic Support and Disabilities Services and are entitled to reasonable accommodations for
assistance as they move through the didactic and clinical nursing courses. Students with declared
disabilities need to understand that they will be expected to meet course/program requirements
with reasonable accommodations. The intention of the nursing faculty and administrators within
the Breen School of Nursing is to ensure patient safety as well as student success throughout the
academic program in preparation for post-graduate employment. A student may not progress
through the curriculum if the disability begins to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of
patients in clinical settings.
Students pursuing a nursing degree must be able to demonstrate, with or without
accommodations, possession of the following capabilities and skills (this is a representative list,
not exhaustive list):
Observation, as one feature of patient assessment, through the functional use of the
senses (sight, touch, and hearing).
Visual capabilities sufficient for observing demonstrations of nursing procedures and
Visual acuity, with or without corrective lenses, to read small print on medication labels
and/or physician's orders, calibrate equipment, perform physical assessment and
recognize when a patient is in imminent danger.
Hearing capabilities with or without auditory aids for understanding normal speaking
voices without seeing the individual's face and for hearing emergency alarms, calls for
assistance, call bells, and stethoscope sounds related to heart, lung, abdominal, and blood
Verbal and language capabilities for speaking with patients in order to elicit information,
describe changes in patient mood, activity, posture, skin appearance, and observe
nonverbal communications as a part of thorough patient assessment.
Verbal and language capabilities for communicating effectively and sensitively with
patients regarding a nursing plan of care.
Capabilities for interacting with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social,
cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
Reading and writing skills sufficient for patient communication, record keeping, and
professional health care team interaction.
Manual dexterity and fine motor skills, including the ability to draw up medication in a
Capabilities for providing general physical care and emergency response to patients as
necessary, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administration of intravenous,
intramuscular or subcutaneous medications, application of pressure to stop bleeding,
calibration of instruments, lifting, positioning, and transfer of patients.
Capabilities for coordinating both gross and fine muscular movements and the ability to
move quickly; physical stamina needed for at least six hours in the clinical setting per day
twice per week as a student.
Behavioral, Social, and Ethical Skills:
Emotional health required for full use of intellectual abilities, exercise of good judgment,
prompt completion of all responsibilities related to the nursing care of patients.
Capabilities for developing mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients
from diverse social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
Capabilities for tolerating physically and mentally taxing workloads and functioning
effectively under stress.
Awareness of ethical actions related to the well being of others and as part of the direct
patient service role required of registered nurses.