Responsibilities and standards in nursing practice are determined by the Texas Board of Nursing, national accreditation guidelines, and clinical agencies. Additionally, as described in various clinical evaluation tools and course guidelines, students MUST BE able to provide safe patient care.
- Technical Standards for Nursing Practice:
Nursing is a practice discipline and successful completion of the nursing program requires that students demonstrate ability to effectively and safely perform several essential skills. ALL students are assessed in practice labs and clinical practicums throughout the program to confirm adherence to the technical standards, with or without accommodations.
- Intellectual Requirements:
Critical thinking is an important part of clinical judgment needed to provide safe patient care. Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, and quickly analyze information in order to apply complex information in the classroom and clinical settings.
- Gross and Fine Motor Requirements:
Nursing students must be able to provide general care (including preparing medications and administering treatment and completing patient assessments). For example, students must be able to perform basic life support (CPR), function in an emergency situation, and have the ability (within reasonable limits) to assist a patient in moving, such as from the chair to the bed. Must be able to lift 50 pounds. Must be able to see marking on syringes to be able to administer medications. Must be able to hear blood pressure, heart, lungs and bowel sounds.
- Observation Skills:
Student nurses must be able to observe patients accurately to assess their condition and perceived signs of disease and response to treatments through physical examination, including visual images, auditory information (patient voice, heart tones, bowel sounds, and lung sounds), and palpable changes in certain organs and tissues.
- Communication Requirements:
Nursing students must be able to communicate effectively with patients, staff, physicians, and family members, verbally and in a written format. Students must be able to process and accurately convey information about the patient’s status to faculty, staff, and other healthcare providers in a timely manner.
- Social and Behavioral Requirements:
Student nurses must possess sufficient mental and emotional health to exercise good judgment, promptly complete assessments, and function in what can be a physically and emotionally demanding dynamic environment. Nursing students must be able to demonstrate compassion, empathy, and concern for others while maintaining a mature, sensitive, and effective relationship with patients, families and other professionals.