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Essential Abilities for the Practical Nursing Student


Practical Nursing students must be able to do the following:

  • Physical and mental proficiency and energy to fulfill job description. 
  • Adequate vision (with correction, if necessary, to read medication labels). 
  • Hearing (with assistive device, if necessary). 
  • Speech, to be understood by all persons across the life span. 
  • Sense of touch to feel pulses, temperature, assessments. 
  • Manual dexterity (of all limbs to operate equipment, syringes and switches) 
  • Strength to push, pull or lift greater than fifty (50) pounds. 
  • Ability to lift, carry, push, pull, stoop, and bend, depending on assigned unit. 
  • Ability to squat and crouch. 
  • Ability to kneel, crawl and climb. 
  • Ability to reach above shoulder level. 
  • Ability to stand and walk for long periods of time. 
  • Ability to organize, and effectively manage time to meet deadlines. 
  • Ability to face uncertainties and stress inherent in clinical practice.
  • Ability to perform neat, accurate work. 
  • Ability to respond to increasing pressure, emergencies and workloads. 
  • Ability to set priorities. 
  • Ability to apply hospital policies and procedures. 
  • Ability to communicate, in English, effectively and understandably with all health care providers and consumers using both verbal and non-verbal skills. 
  • Ability to communicate, in English, with acute and chronically ill patients and their significant others. 
  • Ability to examine and modify our behaviors and attitudes and accepts constructive criticism as needed to facilitate learning and interpersonal relationships.
  • Ability to document completely and legibly, using acceptable, professional terminology. 
  • Ability to use a computer system.

The above list of ability requirements was compiled in accordance with clinical facilities used by the Practical Nursing Program and is not inclusive and may differ according to institutional policies.