Core Performance Standards

All nursing students are expected to have the capability to complete the entire nursing curriculum.  The nursing curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency in a variety of skills. All students should be able to perform each of the activities with or without reasonable accommodations.

Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment Identify cause-effect relationship in nursing clinical and classroom situations.

Predict outcomes based on plans of care for clients across life span.

Differentiate extraneous data from pertinent data.

Synthesize theory and apply to client care situations.

Analyze and synthesize information to support or defend a position.

Calculate prescribed drugs.

Make safe judgments.

Interpersonal abilities Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with peers and faculty. Function in groups.

Establish rapport and therapeutic relationships with clients.

Maintain professional boundaries.

Communication Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form. Express ideas/thoughts and receive those of others in classroom and clinical setting.

Explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, document and interpret nursing actions and client response.

Mobility Gross motor abilities to move from room to room, maneuver in small spaces. Move around in client’s room, work spaces, and treatment areas, perform cardiopulmonary procedures, assist in ambulation, lift and transfer clients (suggested minimum of 50 lbs.).

Possess sufficient mobility and stamina to function in a clinical setting for a given period of time.

Fine motor skills Manual dexterity sufficient to provide safe and effective care. Complete examinations/evaluations by writing, typing, or demonstration.

Calibrate and use equipment .

Hearing Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Hear basic conversation, monitor alarms, emergency signals, ausculatory sounds, and cries for help.
Visual Visual ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Read documents (charts, lab reports).

Read calibrations of syringes, sphygmomanometer, thermometers, equipment output (waves, printouts, digital readings).

Observe client behaviors (color changes, nonverbal communication).

Tactile Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment Perform palpation, percussion, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention, assess temperature changes.
Emotional stability Emotional stability sufficient to assume responsibility/accountability for actions. Respond appropriately to suggestions for improvement.

Accept criticism.

Health Characteristics that would not compromise health and safety of clients. Minimize exposure to and seek appropriate treatment for communicable diseases.
Accountability & Responsibility Demonstrate accountability and responsibility in  all aspects of nursing practice Able to distinguish right from wrong, legal from illegal and act accordingly

Accept responsibility for own actions

Able to comprehend ethical standards and agree to abide by them

Consider the needs of patients in deference to one’s own needs

Adapted from:
REB Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing. (March, 1993). The Americans with Disabilities Act: Implications for nursing education. [On-line].  Available:

The above statement of criteria is not intended as a complete listing of nursing practice behaviors, but is a sampling of the types of abilities needed by the nursing student to meet program objectives and requirements. The DoN (DON) or its affiliated agencies may identify additional critical behaviors or abilities needed by students to meet program or agency requirements. The DON reserves the right to amend this listing based on the identification of additional standards or criteria for nursing students.

Students who are unable to meet core performance standards cannot meet objectives for clinical courses; therefore, cannot meet course requirements. Students must withdraw from the program and may apply for readmission at such time that he/she is able to meet the core performance standards required for the practice of nursing.

If you are unable to fully meet any criterion, you will need to make an appointment with the Chair of the DON.

I have read and I understand the above Core Performance Standards. To the best of my knowledge, I am able to meet all these criteria.

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