Nurse Aide Technical Standards

Purpose Statement

All students in the Nurse Aide Program are expected to meet certain technical standards which are essential for 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.
  • Collect data, prioritize needs, and anticipate reactions.
  • Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations.
  • Sequence information.
  • Make decisions independently within a role.
  • Transfer knowledge from one situation to another.
  • Process information from multiple sources.
  • Analyze and interpret abstract and concrete data.
  • Evaluate outcomes.
  • Use long-term and short-term memory.
  • Prioritize tasks.
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.
  • Negotiate interpersonal conflict.
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.
  • Speak and write English.
  • Listen and comprehend spoken and written words.
  • Give verbal directions or follow 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 as directed by a supervisor.
  • 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, and work in confined spaces and treatment areas.
  • Maintain balance in multiple positions.
  • Reach below the waist (e.g. plug an electrical appliance into a wall outlet).
  • Reach above shoulders (e.g. IV poles).
  • Reach out in front.
  • Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Sustain repetitive movement (e.g. CPR).
  • Stand and/or walk, maintain physical tolerance for up to 8 hours per day with breaks.
  • Pick up objects with hands.
  • Use equipment (BP cuff, wheelchair, etc.).
  • Grasp small objects with hands, and fingers (e.g. pencil).
  • Write with a pen or pencil.
  • Key/type (e.g. use a computer).
  • Pinch/pick or otherwise work with fingers (e.g. comb hair).
  • Squeeze with fingers (e.g. toothpaste tube).
  • Reposition immobile clients.
  • Push/pull 50 pounds or greater.
  • Lift/move heavy objects up to 50 pounds.
  • Twist, bend, stoop/squat.
  • Move quickly (e.g. response to an emergency).
  • Climb stairs.
Auditory Skills Auditory abilities are sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.
  • Hear normal speaking-level sound (e.g. person-to-person report).
  • Hear auditory alarms (monitors, fire alarms, call bells).
  • Hear faint voices or body sounds (e.g. blood pressure).
  • Hear cries for help.
Visual Skills Visual ability is sufficient for observation and assessment is necessary for nursing.
  • Observe client responses, see a change in skin color, and read calibrations on the BP gauge.
  • See objects up to 20 feet away.
  • Read electronic medical records and/or associated paper medical records.
  • Use depth perception.
  • Use peripheral vision.
Tactile Skills Tactile ability is sufficient for physical assessment.
  • Feel vibrations (e.g. palpation of pulse).
  • Detect temperature changes (e.g. skin, solutions).
  • Feel differences in surface characteristics (e.g. rashes).
  • Feel differences in sizes, and shapes (e.g. identify body landmarks).
  • Detect environmental temperature.
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.
  • Tolerate exposure to allergens (e.g. latex gloves).
  • Tolerate strong soaps and odors.
  • Detect odors (e.g. foul-smelling drainage, smoke).
Emotional/Behavioral Possess emotional stability sufficient to assume responsibility/accountability for actions.
  • Adapt rapidly to changing environments and/or stress.
  • Calmly receive feedback.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity beyond reproach.
  • Establish professional relationships.
  • Provide the client with emotional support.
  • Deal with the unexpected (e.g. client condition).
  • Focus attention on the task.
  • Cope with your own emotions.
  • Perform multiple responsibilities concurrently.
  • Cope with strong emotions in others (e.g. grief).


In the case of an otherwise qualified individual with a documented disability, appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be made unless to do 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.