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Nursing Technical Standards

Pace University complies with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as state and local laws which prohibit institutions of higher education from discriminating against students with disabilities. Although all applicants and students are held to the same technical and academic standards, reasonable accommodations are provided to qualified individuals with a disability. In order to request a reasonable accommodation, applicants and students should read Information for Students with Disabilities and then contact the Coordinator of Disability Services for their campus.

The ability to meet the technical standards and educational objectives established by the program is essential for the fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The academic and technical standards established by the faculty require that all students accepted by the Pace University undergraduate nursing programs possess the physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities that ensure that they will be able to complete all aspects of the curriculum. Students admitted to the nursing programs must have the intellectual, emotional, and physical abilities to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, and clinical skills needed to successfully complete the entire curriculum and practice nursing as a registered professional nurse. The technical standards outlined below (Technical Standards), in conjunction with established academic standards, are followed by undergraduate nursing faculty to select applicants and retain students who possess the intelligence, integrity, physical, personal, and emotional characteristics that are necessary to become an effective professional nurse. The faculty must maintain the integrity of the curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the education of a baccalaureate prepared professional nurse. The faculty and program cannot compromise the health and safety of others and reserve the right not to admit and progress in the nursing curriculum, any applicant who cannot meet the technical standards or who would constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others (e.g., those individuals who are impaired by alcohol or substance abuse cannot meet the Technical Standards).

Communication Skills: Nursing students must be able to communicate effectively with members of the health care team, including patients and family members verbally and in writing, and be able to record information accurately and clearly. Nursing students must be able to accurately interpret a patient’s verbal and non-verbal expressions. Nursing students must be able to critically analyze and convey information on the patient’s status to members of the healthcare team in oral, written, and electronic form in a timely manner. 

Observation Skills: In both clinical and laboratory settings, students must be able to observe demonstrations of nursing skills and the implementation of patient care utilizing illustrations, models, medical equipment as well as standardized patients, patient simulators and actual human patients. The student must be able to directly and accurately confirm a patient’s identity, observe a patient’s physical condition and demeanor, obtain a medical history, and perform a complete physical examination. They must then integrate the information obtained through these holistic observations to implement the nursing process. These skills require the functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, smell, and touch.

Motor Skills: Possess and use motor skills in conjunction with the senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch to accurately collect, interpret, and utilize data. Examples include:

  • use a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer to assess vital signs,
  • possess the gross motor skills to provide safe patient care (e.g., perform CPR, apply pressure, position and transfer patients),
  • possess the fine motor skills to provide safe patient care (e.g., prepare and administer medications, manipulate emergency medical equipment, change a dressing), 
  • maintain balance and coordination while responding quickly to and in emergency situations,
  • have the endurance to complete all required tasks during the assigned period of clinical practice in order to carry out the nursing process during the delivery of general nursing care or in emergency situations. 

Interpretative, Conceptual, and Quantitative Skills: Candidates for the degree should possess capabilities that enable them to function effectively and efficiently in the domains of interpretative, cognitive, and quantitative reasoning. Undergraduate nursing students are expected to be capable of developing and seeking out appropriate learning techniques and study habits that allow for an evolving understanding of the baccalaureate curricular content. Students must be able to learn through a variety of teaching-learning modalities, including, but not limited to classroom instruction, small group activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of assignments, validation of accurate medication administration, calculation of medication dosage, and use of computer technology. They must be able to progressively memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize the essential concepts of nursing, including person, health, nursing, and environment. They must also be able to apply these concepts in their clinical student nursing practice through the use of clinical reasoning and clinical judgment. To achieve the goals of clinical competency and patient safety, nursing students are expected to acquire the strategies of problem-solving and critical thinking in order to prioritize patient needs, recognizing urgent or emergent situations as well as demonstrating conscientious detail to the needs of the whole patient and family.

Behavioral and Social Skills: Candidates and students must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of nursing and function within the guidelines established by the law and consistent with the professions (ANA) Scope and Standards of Practice and  Code of Ethics for Nurses and NSNA Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct and Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct Interpretive statements for Nursing Students. They must be able to relate to patients and their families, colleagues, faculty, and other members of the health care team with courtesy, maturity, and respect for the dignity and cultural diversity of individuals. This requires that they place the welfare of their patients foremost and demonstrate honesty, integrity, dedication, compassion, and nondiscrimination in the care of their patients. They must demonstrate honesty and integrity in their school work and in their relationships with faculty, staff, administrators, and classmates. They must at all times demonstrate the emotional stability to be able to exercise good judgment, and carry out prompt completion of all the responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of their patients, and in their course work, in a sensitive and effective manner in the role as nursing student. This sensitivity includes self-examination of personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes in order to avoid potential negative impact on relationships and patient care. Applicants and students must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and professional responsibility to their patients, peers, faculty, staff and administrators, and to learn to function in an environment of uncertainty in which changes may occur rapidly and without warning. A candidate and student must be able to accept and integrate evaluative feedback and respond by a positive modification of behavior. A candidate and student must use conflict resolution strategies effectively in university settings, and in on and off-campus clinical learning settings.