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Essential Competency Requirements

All students accepted into the Texas A&M College of Nursing are expected to have the following six competencies in order to effectively and safely perform the responsibilities of a nursing student.

1) Motor Skills 

Candidates should have sufficient motor function so they are able to execute movements required to provide general care and treatment to patients in all health care settings. (For example: For the safety and protection of the patients, the candidate must be able to perform basic life support, including CPR, and function in an emergency situation. The candidate must have the ability, within reasonable limits, to safely assist a patient in moving, for example, from a chair to a bed, or from wheelchair to the commode.)

2) Sensory/Observation

A candidate must be able to acquire the information presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic and nursing sciences. He or she must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand, and observe and appreciate non‐verbal communications when performing nursing assessment and intervention or administering medications. The candidate must be capable of perceiving the signs of disease and infection as manifested through physical examination. Such information is derived from visual images of the body surfaces, palpable changes in various organs and tissues, and auditory information (patient voice, heart tones, bowel and lung sounds).

3) Communication

The candidate must communicate effectively and sensitively with students, faculty, staff, patients, family and professionals. He or she must express his or her ideas and feelings clearly and demonstrate a willingness and ability to give and receive feedback. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written forms. The candidate must be able to process and communicate information on the patient's status with accuracy in a timely manner to members of the health care team.

4) Cognitive

A candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize in the context of undergraduate nursing study. The candidate must be able to quickly read and comprehend extensive written material. He or she must also be able to evaluate and apply information and engage in critical thinking in the classroom and clinical setting.

5) Behavioral/Emotional

A candidate must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, must exercise good judgment and must be able to promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and families. In addition, he/she must be able to maintain mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, students, faculty, staff and other professionals under all circumstances including highly-stressful situations. The candidate must have the emotional stability to function effectively under stress and to adapt to an environment that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways. The candidate must be able to experience empathy for the situations and circumstances of others and effectively communicate that empathy. The candidate must know that his or her values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions and experiences affect his or her perceptions and relationships with others. The candidate must be able and willing to examine and change his or her behavior when it interferes with productive individual or team relationships. The candidate must possess skills and experience necessary for effective and harmonious relationships in diverse academic and working environments.

6) Professional Conduct

Candidates must possess the ability to reason morally and practice nursing in an ethical manner. Candidates must be willing to learn and abide by professional standards of practice. He/she must possess attributes that include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility and tolerance. Candidates must be able to engage in patient care delivery in all settings and be able to deliver care to all patient populations including, but not limited to, children, adolescents, adults, developmentally disabled persons, medically compromised patients and vulnerable adults.

Last edited by: schnettler 10/04/2017


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