Technical Standards for Nursing Practice

The BSN degree is an undifferentiated degree attesting to general knowledge in, and the basic skills required for, practicing the full scope of nursing. Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the BSN degree consist of certain minimum mental, emotional, sensory, motor, interpersonal, communication and critical-thinking competencies. These skills assure that candidates for admission, progression, and graduation are able to complete the entire program of study and participate fully in all aspects of attaining knowledge and skills required for nursing practice.

The School of Nursing intends for its BSN graduates to become competent and compassionate nurses capable of meeting all requirements for licensure and post-graduate work in the field of nursing. The intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of nursing, or to pursue a non-nursing career, does not alter the requirement that all BSN students take and achieve competence in the full curriculum required by the faculty. The School of Nursing has an ethical responsibility for the safety of the patients with whom students and graduates may come into contact. Although students learn and work under the supervision of the faculty, students interact directly with patients throughout the BSN program. Patient safety and well-being are therefore major factors in establishing requirements involving the competencies required of BSN students for admission, progression and graduation.


Prospective and current enrollees in the BSN program must demonstrate all essential abilities and characteristics to be able to successfully complete the program and participate in all aspects of nursing education. These include, but are not limited to, the following competencies:


Possesses the mental and emotional stability to adapt to the environment, function in everyday activities, and cope with stressors.

Examples: Demonstrates behaviors appropriate to the situation, uses appropriate coping strategies.


Possesses the ability to assess and/or evaluate patient responses and to perform nursing interventions safely and accurately. Subject to reasonable disability-related accommodations, students must have the following particular capabilities:


  • Has normal or corrected vision within the range of 20/20-20/80
  • Distinguishes color shades and/or when changes.

Examples: Observes patient responses, the appearance of wounds; recognizes changes in skin color or color of body fluids, medications, etc.; distinguishes gradation on syringes when drawing up medications; etc.


Has normal or corrected hearing ability within the 0-45 decibel range.

Examples: Hears alarms, emergency signals, cries for help, auscultatory sounds.


Possesses, in at least one hand, the ability to perceive temperature changes and pulsations and to distinguish different textures.

Examples: Performs functions of physical assessment and/or functions related to therapeutic interventions (e.g., insertion of catheters or IVs).


Possesses the capacity to perform the physical manipulations and diagnostic procedures that are part of a complete nursing practice and diverse clinical experience.

Examples: Moves among patient rooms and treatment areas, moves physical patients, performs CPR, calibrates and uses equipment, dons personal protective equipment (PPE).

Subject to reasonable disability-related accommodations, students must have the following particular capabilities:

  • Possesses four (4) functional limbs (normal or artificial) that allow the student to perform sufficiently to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces, and possesses gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.
  • Possesses the ability to exert 20-50 lbs. of force occasionally, 10-25 lbs. of force frequently, and negligible to 10 lbs. of force constantly to move objects.
    Examples: Positions and moves patients and equipment.


Possesses communication abilities sufficient for appropriate and effective interactions with others in both oral and written form.

Examples: Explains treatment procedures and/or initiates health teachings, documents nursing actions and patient responses.

Possesses interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact appropriately and effectively with individuals, families, and groups from a diverse background.

Examples: Establishes rapport with patients and colleagues.

Critical thinking

Possesses critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment.

Examples: Identifies cause and effect relationships, develops and evaluates plan of care, and appropriately evaluations situations and promotes patient safety.

Applies principles of logical or scientific thinking to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Interprets and implements a variety of technical instructions. Deals with several abstract and concrete variables.

Examples: Performs practical application of fractions, percentages, ratio and proportion measurements, and other relevant scientific principles, mathematical calculations.

Inclusion statement

The School of Nursing does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission to or who are enrolled in the BSN program. Otherwise qualified individuals shall not be excluded from admission or participation in School of Nursing educational programs and activities solely by reason of their disability or medical condition. The School of Nursing is committed to providing reasonable accommodation in its academic programs to qualified individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to learning disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not require a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or lower academic and/or clinical standards.

Should a current or prospective enrollee have or develop a condition that would place patients or others at risk, or that would jeopardize his or her ability to complete the BSN program or pursue licensure, the person may be denied admission to or removed from the BSN program. Should a current or prospective enrollee have or develop a disability that poses a significant risk to the health and safety of patients, self, or others that cannot be eliminated with a reasonable accommodation, the person may be denied admission to or removed from the BSN program.

The university offers a process for a student to request an accommodation for a disability. Students may also contact the Disability Resource Center  or the Learning Diagnostic Clinic.