Bachelor of Science in Nursing Technical Standards

Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Technical Standards

Samuel Merritt University affirms the established policy to conduct its educational program without discrimination by reason of sex, age, race, color, ethnic or national origin, disability or handicap, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran in the administration of employment, admission, financial aid, or educational programs.  Nondiscrimination is consonant with the principles and practices of the University and is required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as Amended in 2008, and by various other federal, state, and local statutes and regulations. 

The stated mission of the nursing program at Samuel Merritt University is to train entry-level nurses who have the comprehensive clinical and didactic training necessary to provide highly skilled, competent health care in a wide variety of medical and surgical settings. Potential nurses are expected to complete all academic and clinical requirements of the professional program before they can sit for the certification examination and practice. The purpose of this document is to delineate the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed essential to the completion of this program and to perform as a competent nurse.

The University successfully works with a number of students who need accommodations because of a disability.  Therefore, any student who believes that they may require accommodations in the educational program because of a disability is encouraged to contact the Director of Disability Support Services at 510-869-6616 or send an email to

If a student cannot demonstrate the following skills and abilities, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation. The University will provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of the program offered and does not impose an undue hardship such as those that cause a significant expense, difficulty, or are unduly disruptive to the educational process.  Documentation will be required regarding the nature and extent of the disability and the functional limitations to be accommodated.   

Cognitive Learning Skills
The student must demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Receive and interpret information in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of learning: remember it, reproduce it, and use it to solve problems, evaluate work, and generate new ways of processing or categorizing similar information as listed in course objectives.
  2. Evaluate patient status and make responsible decisions regarding appropriate course(s) of action/treatment within given time constraints.
  3. Effectively synthesize data from the patient, charts, verbal reports, medical history and observing the physical status of the patient for the purpose of recommending or maintaining treatment.
  4. Solve practical problems and deal with a variety of variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
  5. Differentiate multiple patient situations simultaneously.
  6. Interpret and implement a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule
  7. Apply critical reasoning and independent decision making skills.

Psychomotor Skills
The student must demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Sitting: Maintain upright posture
  2. Standing: Maintain upright posture
  3. Locomotion: Ability to:
    1. Get to lecture, lab and clinical locations, and move within rooms as needed for changing groups, partners and work stations, and perform assigned clinical tasks;
    1. Physically maneuver in required clinical settings, to accomplish assigned tasks.
  4. Manual tasks:
    1. Maneuver or move an individual’s body parts or clinical equipment from side to side, forward and backward, or from a lower to higher position.
    2. Maintain an object in a constant position for an extended period.
    3. Competently perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C. P. R.) using guidelines issued by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.
    4. Pushing/Pulling ability to exert force against a small or large object to move it closer or further away.
  5. Reaching:
    1. Ability to extend arm(s) over and under individuals and equipment as required by each clinical setting.
  6. Small motor/hand skills:
    1. Legibly record/document evaluations, patient care notes, referrals, etc. in standard medical charts in hospital/clinical settings in a timely manner and consistent with the acceptable norms of clinical settings.
    2. Legibly record thoughts for written assignments and tests.
    3. Document communications in written form in charts, compose reports and correspondence.
    4. Apply a firm grasp.
    5. Operate a push-button telephone.
    6. Perform precision movements (i.e., venipuncture, catheterization, IV regulation, dressing changes, instrument usage), which may further include invasive procedures into the central circulation or highly specific body cavities/spaces.
    7. Sense through palpation changes in an individual’s muscle tone, soft tissues, skin quality, and temperature and sense responses to environmental changes and treatment.
    8. Manipulate a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, thermometer (digital, tympanic, glass); insert catheters, IVs, NG tubes; perform injections and adjust IV drips or other equipment
    9. as required.

7. Visual acuity to:

    1. a. Legibly record/document evaluations, patient care notes, referrals, etc. in standard medical charts in hospital/clinical settings in a timely manner and consistent with the acceptable norms of clinical settings.
    2. Perform precision movements.
    3. Identify tiny markings and inscriptions (i.e., on syringes, thermometers, IV bags, etc.).
    4. Identify color changes and codings.

8. Hearing or ability to receive and:

    1. Effectively respond to verbal requests from patients and team members.
    2. Interpret the language used to communicate lectures, instructions, concepts, narratives, questions and answers.
    3. Ascultate and percuss for internal body sounds, e.g., heart, bowel, lungs.

9. Communication ability:

    1. Effectively communicate with team members in both verbal and written formats.
    2. Communicate on the spot to other students, teachers, patients, peers, other staff and personnel to ask questions, explain conditions and procedures, teach home programs and safety, within a reasonable time period.

10. Self Care ability to:

    1. Maintain general good health and self-care in order not to jeopardize the health and safety of self and individuals with whom one interacts in the academic and clinical settings.
    2. Arrange transportation and living accommodations for/during off-campus clinical assignments to foster timely reporting to the classroom and clinical center.

Affective learning skills
The student must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate appropriate control of affective behaviors, verbal, physical, and emotional levels to ensure the emotional, physical, mental and behavioral safety of the patient in compliance with the ethical standards of the American Nurse’s Association.
  2. Sustain the mental and emotional rigors of a demanding educational program in nursing which includes academic and clinical components that occur within set time constraints, and often concurrently.
  3. Acknowledge and respect individual values and opinions in order to foster harmonious working relationships with colleagues, peers, and patients/clients.