|Essential Functions for Nursing
There are requisite essential functions for the practice of nursing at the baccalaureate and graduate levels that must be achievable by students. These essential functions are set forth in writing to guide the school in its consideration of any student. The School of Nursing is required to provide reasonable accommodations to students who are qualified individuals with disabilities and who can, with or without reasonable accommodations, perform the essential functions required of nursing students.
Student essential functions are as follows:
Baccalaureate and graduate students must have abilities and skills in the following five distinct areas:
- Knowledge, skills, and attitudes to function in diverse clinical settings and perform within their scope of practice;
- Functional use of sensory and motor functions to permit them to carry out the activities in the areas listed;
- Ability to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed and the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data; and
- Capability to perform in a reasonably independent manner: clinical decision-making and exercising clinical judgment are essential functions of the role of the student.
The practice of nursing at the baccalaureate and graduate levels must not pose a threat to the health and safety of the patients that it serves. School of Nursing students will act to protect the welfare of patients. On this basis, certain students may be unable to fulfill the essential functions of their program.
- Observation: Students ordinarily must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences and nursing clinical areas. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and at close range.
- Communication: Students ordinarily must be able to communicate with patients and colleagues. They should be able to hear but technological compensation is available and may be permitted for some disabilities in this area. Students must be able to read.
- Motor: Students ordinarily should have sufficient motor function such that they are able to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, and opening of an obstructed airway.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem-solving and critical thinking are necessary. In addition, students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
- Behavioral and Social: Students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and evidence mature and sensitive relationships with patients. Students must be able to tolerate physically demanding workloads, adapt to changing environments, and display flexibility to function in rapidly changing clinical settings.
Although all reasonable accommodations, if requested, will be made for students they can be dismissed from the School of Nursing for physical and/or emotional challenges that prevent them from performing these essential functions.
Rutgers University is committed to providing equal educational access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAA) of 2008. The School of Nursing will, if requested, provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified enrolled students unless: (a) such accommodations impose undue hardship to the institution; or (b) direct threats of substantial harm to health and safety of others due to the disability cannot be eliminated by any reasonable accommodations available that would allow the student to perform the essential functions; or (c) such accommodations fundamentally alter the educational program or academic standards.
Students requesting accommodation(s) should make their needs known to the Rutgers Office of Disability Services or the School of Nursing Office of Student Services as soon as possible after joining the school and before enrolling in classes where accommodations will be needed. This enables the school to plan appropriately. Documentation of disability is required as is a completed Letter of Accommodations Form or the School of Nursing Disability Office Registration Form.
A student whose behavior or performance raises questions concerning his or her ability to fulfill the essential functions may be referred to the School of Nursing Student Services.