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  School of Nursing 2021-2023 Academic Policies and Procedures Technical Standards for the Rutgers School of Nursing  

Technical Standards for the Rutgers School of Nursing

The School of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, service, evidence-based health care delivery, leadership, and the promotion of community health. Rutgers School of Nursing (SON) is one of the eight schools comprising Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS)--New Jersey's largest and most influential constellation of academic institutions devoted to nursing, medicine, dentistry, advanced health-related sciences, pharmacy, public health, and the full spectrum of allied health careers.

A strong presence throughout the state and beyond, Rutgers School of Nursing educates more than 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students at four campus locations in Newark, New Brunswick, and Blackwood, New Jersey, as well as through online offerings. SON offers a variety of degree programs, including bachelor's, master's, doctor of nursing practice (DNP), and Ph.D. programs in nursing, as well as certificates, and continuing education for nurses and other health care professionals.

Rutgers School of Nursing is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) (2016-2026). Additional accreditations include the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. As a program that must adhere to the standards of our accrediting bodies, candidates must develop broad knowledge, skills, behaviors, and a commitment to ongoing self-directed learning that will enable them to serve as competent, ethical nursing practitioners and render a wide spectrum of patient care. In addition to the clearly defined academic standards specified in the School of Nursing web sites ( and in the School of Nursing Catalog Handbook ( under Academic Policies and Procedures you will find the Technical Standards for Nursing, the school has identified a set of technical standards that specify the nonacademic attributes, abilities, and skills candidates must demonstrate for admission, retention, progression, and graduation in the School of Nursing.

Admission to the School of Nursing is conditional on the candidate's* ability to achieve and meet these technical standards in conjunction with the academic standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, and depends on a process that examines and values the pertinent skills, attitudes, and attributes of each candidate on a case-by-case basis. The School of Nursing adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards of the nursing profession. In doing so, the School of Nursing reserves the right to deny admission to candidates or to dismiss candidates who, upon completion of the interactive process, cannot meet these technical and/or academic standards or who would be deemed to pose a threat to patients and others in the educational and clinical environment. Under all circumstances, a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner. The use of an intermediary in the clinical setting is ordinarily not permitted and may not be used as a substitute for a candidate's judgment or intellectual acumen. The use of an intermediary would be considered only when it does not alter an essential element or function of these technical and/or academic standards.

Technical Standards

A candidate for any School of Nursing degree must possess abilities and skills, which include those that are observational, communicational, dexterity/motor, intellectual-conceptual (integrative and quantitative), behavioral, and social. The School of Nursing adheres to the following technical standards which are required of all candidates for the undergraduate or graduate degrees in nursing for admission, progression, and graduation, with or without reasonable accommodation. The attainment of knowledge mandates that the candidate participates in course activities, laboratories, and experiential rotations as defined by the School of Nursing policies. All courses in the curriculum must be successfully completed. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, students for the undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing must have abilities and skills in the following five areas:

1. Observation

Observation requires the use of visual, auditory, olfaction, palpation, and somatic senses (or the functional equivalent) in a variety of areas related to contemporary nursing practice. Candidates must have the ability to observe and evaluate in classroom settings, small group teaching exercises, one-on-one evaluation, patient care settings, nursing practice, and clinic sites. Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in didactic courses and simulated learning opportunities. Candidates must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, and to interpret technology of physiological phenomenon (such as EKGs) and particularly as related to disease state monitoring.

2. Communication

A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently; observe patients in order to elicit information; describe or detect changes in mood, activity, and posture; perceive nonverbal communications; and establish a therapeutic relationship. A candidate must be able to respectfully communicate effectively, efficiently, and sensitively (using English and/or a functional equivalent) in clinical and classroom settings with patients, their families, faculty, peers, and all other members of the health care team in both immediate and recorded modes. Communication includes speech, reading, and writing or the functional equivalent.

1. Dexterity/Motor

Candidates must be able to perform nursing skills requiring the use of gross and fine motor skills. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other basic diagnostic procedures or assessment techniques. Candidates must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide nursing care and emergency response to patients, such as IV insertion, venous blood draw, urinary catheter insertion, airway management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and application of pressure to control bleeding. Candidates must also be able to assist and/or participate in various lifting activities. All actions included in this section require the coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and use of the senses of touch and vision or the functional equivalent. In addition, the candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

2. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Candidates are required to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize and retain complex information. In addition, candidates must be able to recall and apply information from course materials, lectures, current literature and journals, as well as clinical nursing practice sites. Necessary abilities include critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, measurement, and mathematical calculation in order to provide optimal nursing care.

3. Behavioral-Social

Candidates must act ethically with integrity and demonstrate compassion and concern for others. Candidates are expected to exhibit professionalism, personal accountability, motivation, and interpersonal skills, including accepting and applying feedback and respecting boundaries, and caring for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of sex, gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected status. Candidates must have appropriate hygiene and a professional appearance. Candidates must possess the emotional health required to fully utilize their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, work as effective members of a health care team, and function successfully under emotionally, intellectually, and physically demanding workloads within the classroom and clinical settings. This requires the ability to take responsibility for one's personal actions and emotional stability in stressful situations, with long hours and personal fatigue, dissatisfied patients, and tired colleagues. Candidates must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical environment.

Candidates are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards in their behavior and are expected to meet the ethical standards set forth by the nursing profession. Candidates must be able to develop skills necessary to recognize when they may need the support or assistance of other health care professionals and seek help when needed. Candidates must be able to develop professional relationships with patients, patients' families and/or caregivers, and other health care providers to provide effective nursing care while maintaining patient confidentiality. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and educational process.

General Guidelines for Technical Standards

A student whose behavior or performance raises questions or concerns pertaining to his or her ability to fulfill these technical standards may be required to obtain evaluation and/or testing by a health care provider designated by the school, and to provide the results to the Campus Student Health Service, the dean of the School of Nursing, and/or the associate dean for Student Affairs of the School of Nursing for the purpose of determining whether the student is fit to pursue the educational program. If the student is deemed fit to pursue the program, the school reserves the right to require actions recommended by the health care provider, including further testing, counseling, monitoring, leave of absence, etc.

Candidates who cannot meet the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations may be subject to review to determine the appropriate action, which can include dismissal from the program. Candidates must be proactive in addressing deficiencies in meeting the standards and follow appropriate university policies set forth in doing so.

Reasonable Accommodations:

The School of Nursing complies with all applicable laws concerning applicants and candidates with disabilities. For any eligible student, Rutgers University provides reasonable accommodations in order to ensure that all candidates have an equal opportunity to participate in all programs, services, and practical training activities. These technical standards are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation would allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum. The School of Nursing will provide reasonable accommodations, according to university policies and procedures, to otherwise qualified applicants and matriculated candidates with disabilities unless: (a) such accommodations impose undue hardship to the institution; (b) direct threats of substantial harm to the health and safety of others due to the disability cannot be eliminated by any reasonable accommodations available; or (c) such accommodations fundamentally alter the educational program or academic standards.

If you are in need of reasonable accommodations in order to meet the Technical Standards for Admission, Matriculation, and Program Completion policy, please contact the appropriate Office of Disability Services at the campus you are enrolled:

By submitting this document, I hereby certify that I am able to meet, with or without accommodations, the technical standards, which are required for admission, matriculation, and completion of the School of Nursing program. If I require any accommodation in order to perform these functions, I agree to request accommodation, if needed, by promptly following the established policies and procedures set forth by the university.

If my circumstances change related to these technical standards, I will promptly notify the Office of Administration and Student Services at the Rutgers School of Nursing and/or the Office of Disability Services.

If you have any general questions about this form or its contents, please contact the Office of Administration and Student Services at 973-353-5771 or email at

For more information, visit or the Office of Disability Services.

*The term "candidate" refers to current nursing students (graduate or undergraduate) who are enrolled and seek to progress and graduate.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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