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School of Nursing  :  Academic Programs   :  Graduate   :  Doctor of Nursing Practice  :  Technical Standards

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Technical Standards

Graduate applicants please note: These standards apply to all nursing students, however, as stated in the policy, in programs without clinical components or which involve no direct contact with patients, they may be modified by the Student Admissions and Progressions Committee on an individual or case-by-case basis.

All applicants are required to read the following information. Because the Baccalaureate degree in nursing signifies that the holder is a professional nurse, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to practice in all fields of nursing. Therefore, all individuals admitted to the University of Kansas School of Nursing Baccalaureate program will be asked to verify that they can meet these standards with or without accommodation(s) ( In graduate courses or programs without clinical components, or involving no direct client care, these Technical Standards may be modified by the Student Admission and Progression Committee (SAPC).

The BSN degree is and must remain a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to the acquisition of general knowledge in all fields of nursing and the basic skills requisite for the practice of nursing. After acceptance, but before admission to the School of Nursing, students in all programs must be able to document current certification/evidence of completion of a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for healthcare providers. This requires being able to successfully complete both the written and practical test for certification. In addition, with or without accommodation, the following abilities and expectations must be met by all students, undergraduate and graduate, admitted to the School of Nursing.

Technical Standards

  • Observation/Sensory-motor: Applicants must have sufficient sensory abilities of sight, hearing smell and touch to be able to observe demonstrations and learn from experiences in the basic sciences, including but not limited to, physiology and pharmacology, microbiology and pathophysiology laboratory situations. Applicants must be able to observe and learn from experiences in the clinical nursing laboratory such as the following examples: accurately determine gradients/calibrations on a syringe; measure medications accurately; accurately recognize color changes on chemical reaction strips; accurately assess heart, breath, abdominal sounds; and accurately assess normal and abnormal color changes in the skin, pupil size, and digital or waveform readings.
  • Communication: Communication includes speech, reading, writing, and computer usage, including handheld digital devices. Applicants should be able to effectively communicate, orally and/or in writing, with and elicit information from patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. Applicants must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their families. Applicants also must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently, and work cooperatively, with all members of the health care team for patient care. Applicants must also be able to gather information appropriately, explain information in a patient-centered manner, listen effectively, recognize, acknowledge and respond to emotions, and exhibit sensitivity to social and cultural differences.
  • Psychomotor: Applicants must have sufficient physical dexterity to master technical and procedural aspects of patient care. They must have sufficient strength to perform essential tasks, and adequate physical stamina and energy to carry out taxing duties over long hours. Applicants should be able to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Applicants should be able to collect specimens and perform basic tests (such as glucose finger stick, urine dipstick). Applicants should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of nurses are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, and application of pressure to stop bleeding. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and using tactile and other senses.
  • Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative: Applicants must be able to read and understand documents written in English. They must be able to comprehend and learn factual knowledge from readings and didactic presentations, gather information independently, analyze and synthesize learned material, and apply that information to clinical situations. Applicants 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 of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the applicant should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures in order to understand normal and abnormal anatomy and physiology.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes: Applicants must possess the emotional maturity and stability required to utilize their intellectual abilities fully, exercise good judgment, complete all responsibilities attendant to the nursing diagnosis and care of patients promptly, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and their families. Applicants must be able to tolerate strenuous workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, empathy, integrity, concern for others, altruism, responsibility, effective interpersonal communication skills, interest, tolerance and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education process. As a component of nursing education, a student must demonstrate ethical behavior including adherence to the professional nursing and student honor codes. The honor code at the KU School of Nursing is the Professional Integrity System (PROFITS). KU PROFITS is a peer-oriented integrity system to promote an environment where academic honesty is valued and expected.

Reasonable Accommodation

Applicants who disclose a disability are considered for admission if they are otherwise qualified. When applicants or students disclose a disability, the provision of reasonable accommodations will be considered in an attempt to assist these individuals in meeting these required technical standards. It is important to give persons interested in enrolling in nursing a realistic view of the vigorous demands of the School of Nursing’s theoretical and practicum curriculum while at the same time investigating reasonable accommodations. Whether or not a requested accommodation is reasonable will be determined on a case by case basis.

Individuals interested in admission to the School of Nursing may schedule an orientation visit to the nursing skills laboratory and actual sites of the University of Kansas Hospital and/or University of Kansas Medical Center. These orientation visits enable persons to assess their interest and ability to function in the actual clinical areas and in learning and demonstrating manual skills.

Questions? Contact Us!

The University of Kansas School of Nursing
Office of Student Affairs
Mail Stop 2029
3901 Rainbow Blvd. 
Kansas City, KS 66160

toll-free: 1-888-588-1619
TTY 711

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