Bachelor of Science in Nursing Technical Standards

ADA Guidelines

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act provides comprehensive civil rights protections for qualified individuals with disabilities.” An “individual with a disability” is a person who:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a “major life activity,” or
  • has a record of such an impairment, or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

The ADA Handbook published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the department of Justice states: “examples of physical or mental impairments include, but are not
limited to, such contagious and noncontagious diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism. Homosexuality and bisexuality are not physical or mental impairments under the ADA.”

“Major life activities” include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, talking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. Individuals who currently engage in the illegal use of drugs are not protected by the ADA when an action is taken on the basis of the recurrent illegal use of drugs.

Qualified” individuals are defined as follows:

  • A “qualified” individual with a disability is one who meets the essential eligibility requirements for the program or activity offered.
  • The “essential eligibility requirements” will depend on the type of service or activity involved.

The stated mission of the undergraduate program in nursing at Samuel Merritt University is to train
entry-level nurses who can treat the general patient population in current health care settings.
Potential nurses are expected to complete all academic and clinical requirements of the BSN
program. 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
generalist nurse.

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.

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.