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Technical Standards for Undergraduate Program Subsection: 5.2.1
Section 5.0 - Student Policies Originating Date: May 1984
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Undergraduate Admission, Progression, Graduation and Scholarship/Grant Committee

Revised: April 1987
Reviewed: May 2000
Revised: May 2006
Reviewed: May 2008
Revised: September 2008
Reviewed: October 2012
Revised: April 2018
Revised: November 2023 (changes)

Related Documents:
5.1.3 Student Responsibility to Provide Information Policy
Technical Standards Form


Identifies general abilities necessary to meet the technical standards for progression.


This policy applies to undergraduate students.


The following general abilities have been identified as necessary to meet the technical standards for progression in the undergraduate nursing program. On admission to the UNMC College of Nursing, the student will read and sign the Technical Standards form and will update this form as necessary throughout the program. The following general abilities will be evaluated throughout the program:

  1. Intellect and Conceptual. Students must be able to use critical thinking skills to problem solve and make decisions regarding assessment, planning and intervening in the care of clients/families. Students must be able to comprehend and interpret information in English. They should have cognitive abilities including measurements, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Critical thinking is the ability to synthesize knowledge and integrate the relevant aspects of a client's history, physical exam findings and diagnostic studies. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of nurses, requires all these intellectual abilities.
  2. Behavioral and Social Attributes. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. Students must be able to exercise good judgment, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in stressful situations. They must show empathy, integrity, compassion, interpersonal communication skills, and concern for others.
  3. Assessment and Observation. In order to independently assess a client, the student must be able to accurately and effectively observe, discern, interpret, comprehend, detect, and recognize information. Applicants must be able to observe and learn from experiences in the clinical/laboratory settings such as the following examples but not limited to:
    1. Accurately read gradients/calibrations on a syringe
    2. Measure medications accurately
    3. Accurately recognize color changes on chemical reaction strips
    4. Assess heart, breath, abdominal sounds
    5. Discern and assess normal and abnormal color and temperature changes in the skin
    6. Observe pupil changes
  4. Communication. Students must possess communication skills in order to assess, plan, and deliver effective and therapeutic care to clients/families. Communication include not only speech but reading, writing, and the use of electronic devices. Students need to be able to record information clearly and accurately and accurately interpret verbal and nonverbal communication. Students must be able to communicate effectively to all members of the health care team.
  5. Psycho-motor skills. Students must possess sufficient psycho-motor functioning to participate in class, laboratories, clinical settings and activities independently and effectively. Students must be able to perform a physical assessment of their patients as appropriate for the registered nurse including palpation, auscultation, percussion, other diagnostic maneuvers, and nursing activities.

To be qualified for College of Nursing BSN Program individuals must be able to meet both our academic standards and the technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations. These standards should not be a deterrent to any candidate with disabilities who desires to pursue education in this program. Candidates with disabilities bring unique perspectives which contribute to the diversity of the student population and will create a diverse healthcare workforce of culturally competent practitioners who can meet the needs of their patients. For further information regarding services and resources for students with disabilities and/or candidates with disabilities who would like to start the accommodation request process, please contact the Accessibility Services Center at or find more information at