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Nursing

Competency

With reasonable accommodation, the student can meet the minimal level of required activity.

Performance Standards for Admission and Graduation

The curriculum in the nursing programs requires students to practice essential nursing skills and functions, as deemed necessary in nursing practice. This includes cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical and social skills. It is essential that one be able to perform skills in these domains in order to ensure the health and safety of patients, students, faculty and health professionals.

The following skill domains describe the non-academic qualifications that are required in addition to academic qualifications that the Jefferson School of Nursing considers essential for entrance and graduation from the nursing degree programs. Candidates for nursing degrees must be able to meet these minimum standards with or without reasonable accommodation for successful completion of degree requirements.

Domains:

  1. Ability to see, hear, touch, smell and distinguish colors:
    • Ability to gather data independently from written reference materials, oral presentations, demonstrations and observations of a patient in his or her environment.
    • Ability to perform health assessments and interventions independently; observe diagnostic specimens; and obtain information from digital and analog representations to determine patient status and condition.
      Examples of essential functional ability:
      • Visual acuity sufficient to draw up the correct quantity of medication in a syringe and to be able to detect changes in condition, skin color and wound characteristics.
      • Auditory ability sufficient to detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope or to detect audible alarms generated by mechanical systems used to monitor patient status.
      • Tactile abilities sufficient to detect unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices or detect anatomical abnormalities, such as edema or small lumps.
  2. Ability to speak and write with accuracy, clarity and efficiency:
    • Ability to communicate with accuracy, clarity and efficiency with patients, their families and other members of the healthcare team (including spoken and non-verbal communications, such as interpretation of facial expressions, affect and body language).
    • Ability to communicate via speech, hearing, reading, writing and electronic modalities.
      • Abilities sufficient to give verbal directions to or follow verbal directions from other members of the healthcare team and to participate in healthcare team discussions of patient care.
      • Ability sufficient to elicit and record information about health history, current health state or responses to treatment from patients and others.
      • Ability sufficient to convey information to patients, members of the healthcare team and others as necessary to teach, direct and counsel individuals.
  3. Ability to demonstrate manual dexterity in gross and fine movements:
    • Sufficient motor function to execute movements required to provide safe general care and treatment to patients in all healthcare settings.
    • Motor functions include gross and fine motor skills, physical endurance, physical strength and mobility to carry out nursing care procedures, perform basic laboratory tests and provide routine and emergency care and treatment to patients.
      Examples of essential functional ability:
      • Fine motor skills sufficient to obtain assessment information by palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers.
      • Physical endurance sufficient to complete assigned periods of clinical practice.
      • Mobility sufficient to carry out patient care procedures, such as tracheostomy care or performing emergency airway suctioning.
      • Strength sufficient to carry out patient care procedures such as CPR, and in the turning and lifting of patients.
  4. Ability to learn, think critically, analyze, assess, solve problems, reach judgments:
    • Ability to read and understand written documents in English and solve problems involving measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis of laboratory study results and diagnostic interpretations.
    • Ability to gather data, develop a plan of action, establish priorities and monitor treatment plans and modalities.
    • Ability to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships.
      Examples of essential functional ability:
      • Cognitive skills sufficient to calculate appropriate medication dosage given specific patient conditions.
      • Conceptual ability sufficient to analyze and synthesize data and develop an appropriate plan of care.
      • Quantitative ability sufficient to collect data, prioritize needs and anticipate reactions.
      • Ability to comprehend spatial relationships adequate to properly administer IM injections or assess wounds of varying depths.
  5. Ability to demonstrate emotional stability and to accept responsibility and accountability:
    • Ability to relate to colleagues, staff and patients with honesty, integrity and non-discrimination.
    • Capacity for the development of a compassionate and effective therapeutic relationship with patients.
    • Ability to work constructively in stressful and changing environments with the ability to modify behavior in response to constructive criticism.
    • Capacity to demonstrate ethical behavior, including adherence to the Nurse Practice Act.
      Examples of essential functional ability:
      • Emotional skills sufficient to remain calm in an emergency situation.
      • Interpersonal skills sufficient to communicate effectively with patients and families of diverse religious, cultural or social backgrounds.

Once admitted to the Jefferson School of Nursing, all students will be measured by the same academic standards. Regardless of disability and reasonable accommodation, a student must pass all courses at an acceptable level and master all essential clinical competencies.

Sources:
AACN Guidelines for Accommodating Students with Disabilities
New York University - Student Guide to Disability Center
Dundee University - Student Guide to Disabilities
ADA 1990

On Campus

Leadership LIVE is a leadership development program for all Jefferson students that consists of workshops, special events, and community service opportunities. Learn more about Leadership LIVE on their website.

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