Technical Standards for Admission and Progression | RN -MSN

Successful participation in the Carroll University Master of Science in Nursing Program requires that a candidate possess the ability to meet the requirements of the program. Though the program may modify certain course requirements in order to provide a handicapped person with an equivalent opportunity to achieve results equal to those of a non-handicapped person, there are no substitutes for the following essential skills.

The applicant/candidate must initially meet the health requirements and technical standards to gain admission to the nursing program. If a student has a change in health status while enrolled in the nursing program the student is required to inform the nursing department chair, submit a physician release and update the technical standards form.

Technical Standards for Carroll University Nursing Students

Professional nursing students are expected to demonstrate the ability to meet the demands of a professional nursing career. Certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe, effective nursing care. An applicant to the Master of Science in Nursing Program must meet and maintain the following technical standards for progression throughout the program. Students unable to meet these technical standards will not be able to complete the program. Students shall notify the program of any change in their ability to meet technical standards.

The technical standards include but are not limited to the following:

General Ability

The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing and smell so that data received by the senses is integrated, analyzed and synthesize in a consistent and accurate manner. The student is expected to possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration and movement in order to effectively evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations.

Observational Ability

The student must have the ability to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of clinical/laboratory activities and patient care experiences. The student must be able to document these observations accurately.

Communication Ability

The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to obtain information and explain that information to others. Each student must have the ability to read, write, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, family members and other members of the health care team. The student must be able to document and maintain accurate records, presents information in a professional manner and provide patient instruction to effectively care for patients and their families.

Motor Ability

The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to provide complete physical assessments and provide safe effective care for patients. The student is expected to have psychomotor skills necessary to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication and emergency interventions including CPR if necessary. The student must have sufficient levels of neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination as well as possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving and physical exertion required for safe patient care. Students must be able to bend, squat, reach, kneel or balance. Clinical settings may require that students have the ability to carry and lift loads from the floor, from 12 inches from the floor, to shoulder height and overhead. The student must be able to occasionally lift 50 pounds, frequently lift 25 pounds and constantly lift 10 pounds. The student is expected to be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium and have the physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in clinical settings.

Intellectual – Conceptual Ability

The student must have the ability to develop problem-solving skills essential to professional nursing practice. Problem solving skills include the ability to measure, calculate reason, analyze, synthesize objective and subjective data, and to make decisions in a timely manner that reflects thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. The student must demonstrate application of these skills and possess the ability to incorporate new information from peers, instructors and the nursing/healthcare literature to formulate sound judgment to establish care plans and priorities in patient care activities.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

The student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities. Compassion, integrity, motivation and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the nursing program. The student must fully utilize intellectual capacities that facilitate prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationship with patients and other members of the healthcare team. The ability to establish rapport and maintain interpersonal relationships with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse. Each student must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; and effectively collaborate in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations

The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively in relation to stressful situations encountered in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the nursing program. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer and/or program related.

Background Check

Clinical facilities require that Carroll University perform background checks on all students before participation in clinical courses. The background check result is shared with the clinical facility.


A handicapped applicant/candidate shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap (except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined above) be neither excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the program. Carroll University may require that the applicant/student undergo a physical examination and/or an occupational skills evaluation.

All nursing students must be able to perform the essential functions of a professional nurse. Reasonable accommodations will be afforded to disabled professional nurses as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A student who can no longer perform the essential functions of a professional nurse must report that to the MSN Program Director. If reasonable accommodations cannot be made, the student will not be able to remain in the nursing program.

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