Dear Applicants to Graduate Nursing Programs:
Case Western Reserve University is committed to providing all students with opportunities to take full advantage of the University's educational, academic, and residential programs. For applicants who are declaring a major in nursing, there are specific Technical Standards (described below) nursing students must be able to meet to be successful in the nursing program. We recognize that applicants with disabilities may need assistance or accommodations to achieve success in the nursing program. Disability Resources will work closely with students to design an individual plan for accommodations on admission and throughout their time at CWRU.
If you have any questions about being able to meet the Technical Standards, please feel free to contact Disability Resources (link below) to discuss what reasonable accommodations may be possible for students with a major in nursing.
Please also review the following material:
The goal of each nursing program at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing is to prepare every student to think critically, and practice nursing competently and compassionately in rapidly changing practice environments. All efforts are designed to build nursing knowledge, enhance nursing practice and patient safety, foster professional integrity, and ultimately improve the health outcomes of patients, families, and communities across the continuum of care. In addition, certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe, effective nursing care during clinical training activities. Therefore, the faculty has determined that certain technical standards are requisite for admission, progression, and graduation from the nursing programs.
In addition to classroom learning, clinical training occurs throughout the program and involves considerations (such as patient safety and clinical facilities) that are not present for classroom accommodations. For this reason, any applicant or student who seeks accommodations prior to or at any time during enrollment in the nursing programs must engage in an interactive evaluation process with Disability Resources at CWRU, in consultation with the nursing program, to determine appropriate reasonable accommodations for completion of the clinical training component of the program. Hospitals and other facilities where clinical nursing training occurs establish independent technical requirements for nursing staff at their facility. While these technical standards are intended to ensure that students can comply with both the nursing program’s academic requirements and the clinical training site’s regulatory and technical requirements, applicants and students in the nursing programs are advised that they must be able to meet the independent technical standards and regulatory requirements of the clinical facilities where students receive clinical training.
Students must notify their respective Program Director (BSN, MN, MSN, DNP, PhD) if their ability to meet the technical standards changes at any time during their progression through the nursing program. While the nursing program will make every effort to work with students with disabilities to accommodate their disability-related needs, the nursing program is not required to provide accommodations that fundamentally alter or waive essential program or technical requirements.
An individual must be able to meet the following technical standards of general abilities and those specifically of:
- Intellectual, conceptual, and quantitative abilities
- Essential behavioral and social attributes; and
- Ability to manage stressful situations.
Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, will not be able to complete the program and are counseled to pursue alternate careers.
The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, and movement that are important to the student's ability to gather significant information needed to effectively evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations that may occur during clinical training activities and must not hinder the ability of other members of the health care team to provide prompt treatment and care to patients.
The student must have sufficient capacity to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies, medication administration, and patient care activities. In addition, the student must be able to document these observations and maintain accurate records.
The student must communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally to elicit information and to translate that information to others. Each student must have the ability to read, write, comprehend, and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care settings. In addition, the student must be able to maintain accurate patient records, present information in a professional, logical manner and provide patient counseling and instruction to effectively care for patients and their families. The student must possess verbal and written communication skills that permit effective communication with instructors and students in both the classroom and clinical settings.
The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment, and such maneuvers to assist with patient care activities such as lifting, wheelchair guidance, and mobility. 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 satisfactory and safe performance in the clinical and classroom settings including performing CPR, if necessary. The student must possess the ability of manual dexterity that would be required for a variety of clinical activities, such as drawing up solutions in a syringe, taking vital signs, or regulating essential patient care equipment.
Intellectual, Conceptual and Quantitative Abilities
The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a nurse. Problem-solving involves the abilities to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data, and to make decisions, often in a time urgent environment, that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and possess the ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the nursing and medical literature to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment, intervention, evaluation, teaching, and setting short- and long-term goals.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the nursing programs. Personal comfort and acceptance of the role of a nurse functioning under supervision of a clinical instructor or preceptor is essential for a nursing student. The student must possess the skills required for full utilization of the student's intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must be able to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse.
The student must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.
Ability to Manager Stressful Situations
As a nursing student you are likely to encounter a variety of stressful situations in the clinical area and the classroom. You will begin to learn to adapt to and function effectively during these situations and will begin to learn to do so in emergencies as well.
As a practicing nurse, you can expect to face such situations routinely. The stressors you encounter may be of a personal nature or practice related. They may arise in the provision of care to individual patients and families, or you may encounter them as you work with peers and faculty. All these encounters are a key part of your career and of your lifelong learning. It is important to recognize that you do not need to manage them alone. It is important to let your faculty and your advisor know if you are struggling so you can debrief, discuss strategies to help you be successful in the context of these stressors, and learn to thrive in the fast-paced practice setting.