Associate Degree Nursing Technical Standards

Purpose Statement

All students in the Associate Degree Nursing program are expected to meet certain technical standards which are essential for the successful completion of all phases of the program, and which reflect industry requirements and standards. To verify the student’s ability to perform these essential functions, students may be required to demonstrate the technical standards below.

Meeting these technical standards does not guarantee employment in this field upon graduation. The ability to meet the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for any certification exams or successful completion of the program.


Technical Standard Definition of Standards Examples
Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving Skills Ability is sufficient for clinical judgment.
  • Evaluate client or instrument responses, synthesize data, and draw sound conclusions.
  • Collect data, prioritize needs, and anticipate reactions.
  • Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations.
  • Develop and implement a nursing care plan.
Interpersonal Skills Abilities are sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Establish rapport with clients, instructors, staff, colleagues, and groups.
  • Respect, and care for clients whose appearance, condition, beliefs, and values may conflict with your own.
  • Deliver nursing care regardless of the client’s race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or diagnosis.
  • Establish and maintain therapeutic boundaries.
  • Exhibit ethical behavior and exercise good judgment.
Communication Skills Abilities are sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.
  • Document and interpret actions and client responses in a clear, professional, and timely manner.
  • Gives verbal directions or follows verbal directions from other members of the healthcare team.
  • Convey information to clients and others as necessary to teach and direct in an accurate, effective, and timely manner.
  • Recognize and report critical client information to other caregivers.
Coping Skills Possess coping skills sufficient to maintain composure in stressful situations.
  • Adapt rapidly to changing environments and/or stress.
Mobility/Motor Skills

Physical abilities are sufficient to move in one’s environment with ease and without restriction.

Gross and fine motor abilities are sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing skills.

  • Move around in work and treatment areas.
  • Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Manually resuscitate clients in emergency situations.
  • Stand and/or walk up to 12 hours per day with or without breaks.
  • Calibrate and use the equipment.
  • Reposition immobile clients.
  • Push/pull 100 pounds or greater.
  • Lift/move heavy objects up to 50 pounds.
Auditory Skills Auditory abilities are sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.
  • Hear internal body sounds with the use of a stethoscope.
  • Hear auditory alarms (monitors, fire alarms, call bells)
  • Hear cries for help.
Visual Skills Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing
  • Observe client responses, see a change in skin color, and read calibrations on a syringe.
  • See objects up to 20 feet away.
  • Read electronic medical records and/or associated paper medical records.
Tactile Skills Tactile ability is sufficient for physical assessment.
  • Perform functions of the physical assessment and/or those related to therapeutic intervention (e.g. Insertion of a catheter, palpation of pulse, detect temperature changes).
Environmental Possess the ability to tolerate environmental stressors.
  • Safely work with potentially harmful chemicals used in health care settings.
  • Practice Standard Precautions in the clinical setting.
  • Work in areas that are close, crowded, and/or noisy.
  • Anticipate exposure to communicable diseases, body fluids, and toxic substances.
Emotional/Behavioral Possess emotional stability sufficient to maintain composure in stressful situations and assume responsibility/accountability for actions.
  • Calmly receive feedback.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity beyond reproach.


In the case of an otherwise qualified individual with a documented disability, appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be made unless doing so would fundamentally alter the essential training elements, cause undue hardship, or produce a direct threat to the safety of the patient or student.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is invested in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Support Services is part of Student Services and is located in the K. Ray Bailey Student Services Center. For detailed information or to request accommodations visit Support Services. An appointment is recommended prior to enrollment in order to discuss any special concerns.