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Essential Qualifications

Basic Competencies for Progression and Graduation (including Physical and Emotional Standards)

Successfully completing Blinn's ADN Program means the graduate has been educated to competently practice nursing in all healthcare settings and to apply for RN licensure. The education of a future nurse requires assimilation of knowledge, acquisition of skills, and development of judgment through patient care experiences in preparation for independent, semi-autonomous practice where making appropriate decisions is required.

The curriculum requires students to engage in diverse, complex, and specific experiences essential to the acquisition and practice of essential nursing skills and functions. Unique combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities are required to satisfactorily perform these functions. In addition to being essential to the successful completion of this program, these functions are necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients, fellow students, faculty, and other healthcare workers.

Physical and emotional health are also critical to the successful progression and completion of this Program. Physical health is defined as the ability to perform both fine and gross motor skills, being able to perform normal weight-bearing activities, and be free of communicable diseases. Emotional health is defined as reacting appropriately to stressful situations, understanding one’s own ability to cope with stressful situations, and behaving appropriately within the current environment.

The essential abilities necessary to acquire or demonstrate competence in a discipline as complex as nursing and needed for successful progression by nursing, (in addition to the standards of behavior and conduct set forth by Blinn College), include but are not limited to the following:

Motor Skills

Students should have sufficient motor function so they are able to execute movements required to provide safe effective general care and treatment to patients in all health care settings. [For example: For the safety and protection of the patients, the student must be able to perform basic life support, including CPR, and function in an emergency situation. The student must have the ability, within reasonable limits, to safely assist a patient in moving, for example, from a chair to a bed, or from a wheelchair to a commode.]

  • Mobility – possess physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, maneuver in small spaces and stand and walk for extensive periods of time.
  • Weight-Bearing – possess ability to lift and manipulate and move 45-50 pounds (22 Kg) sometimes daily.


Students must be able to acquire the information presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic and nursing sciences. He or she must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand, and observe and appreciate non-verbal communications when performing nursing assessments and interventions or administering medications. The student must be capable of perceiving the signs of disease and infection as manifested through physical examination.

  • Hearing – possess auditory ability sufficient for observation and assessment. For example, hear monitor alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, and cries for help.
  • Visual – possess visual ability sufficient for observation an assessment. For example, observe patient responses to interventions.
  • Tactile – possess tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment. For example, perform palpation, functions of physical examination and/or related therapeutic intervention, and insertions of various catheters.


Students must communicate effectively and sensitively with other students, faculty, staff, patients, family, and other professionals. He or she must express his or her ideas and feelings clearly and demonstrate a willingness and ability to give and receive feedback. A student must be able to: convey or exchange information at a level allowing development of a health history; identify problems presented; explain alternative solutions; and give directions during treatment and post-treatment. The student must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written forms. The student must be able to process and communicate information on the patient's status with accuracy in a timely manner to members of the health care team. The appropriate communication may also rely on the student's ability to make a correct judgment in seeking supervision and consultation in a timely manner.


Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize in the context of the nursing curriculum. The student must be able to quickly read and comprehend extensive written material. He or she must also be able to evaluate and apply information and engage in critical thinking in the classroom and clinical setting. Students must organize responsibilities and make appropriate decisions.

  • Critical Thinking/Clinical Reasoning – process critical thinking and clinical reasoning ability sufficient for nursing clinical judgment. For example, must be able to identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations.


Students must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and families. In addition, he or she must be able to maintain mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, students, faculty, staff and other professionals under all circumstances (with different social, intellectual, and cultural backgrounds) including highly stressful situations. The student must have the emotional stability to function effectively under stress and to adapt to an environment that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways. The student must be able to experience empathy for the situations and circumstances of others and effectively communicate that empathy. The student must know that his or her values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and experiences affect his or her perceptions and relationships with others. The student must be able and willing to examine and change his or her behavior when it interferes with productive individual or team relationships. The student must possess skills and experience necessary for effective and harmonious relationships in diverse academic and working environments.

Professional Conduct

Students must possess the ability to reason morally and practice nursing in an ethical manner. Students must be willing to learn and abide by professional standards of practice. Students must not engage in unprofessional conduct, and must possess attributes that include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility, and tolerance. Students must be able to engage in patient care delivery in all settings and be able to deliver care to all patient populations including but not limited to children, adolescents, adults, developmentally disabled persons, medically compromised patients, and vulnerable adults.

Content Credit: University of Washington School of Nursing, Rowan Cabarrus Community College, and Blinn’s Radiologic Technology Program