• Essential Functions of Nursing

  • Mt Hood Community College Nursing Program has the responsibility to society to educate competent health care providers to care for their patients/patients with clinical judgment, broadly based knowledge and competent technical skills at the entry level.

    The program has academic as well as technical standards (non-academic criteria) students must meet in order to successfully progress in and graduate from the program.

    The Technical Standards document is provided in order to assure that the students who enter the program know and understand the requirements, and can make informed decisions regarding the pursuit of this profession.

    Technical Standards

    Mt Hood Community College provides the following technical standards with examples of learning activities to inform prospective and enrolled students of the skills required in completing their chosen profession’s curriculum and in the provision of health care services. These technical standards reflect the performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary for successful completion of the requirements of clinical based health care programs. These standards are not a requirement of admission into the program. Individuals interested in applying for admission to the program should review these standards to develop a better understanding of the skills, abilities and behavioral characteristics required for successful completion of the program.

    Students admitted to Mt Hood Community College Nursing Program are expected to be able to complete curriculum requirements, which include physical, cognitive, and behavioral core competencies that are essential to the functions of the entry level professional nurse. These core competencies are considered to be the minimum and essential skills necessary to protect the public. These abilities are encountered in unique combinations in the provision of safe and effective nursing care.

    Progression in the program may be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

    Mt Hood Community College is obliged to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities, which may include academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and or program modifications. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, could jeopardize the health and safety of others, or cause an undue burden to the program are not considered reasonable accommodations. Regular consistent attendance and participation is essential to learning, especially for all scheduled clinical experiences.


    • Recall, collect, analyze, synthesize, and integrate information from a variety of sources.
    • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data.
    • Problem-solve and think critically in order to apply knowledge and/or skill.
    • Communicate effectively with individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
    • Relay information effectively, accurately, reliably, and intelligibly. This includes a thorough and accurate use of computers and other tools to individuals and groups, using the English language.
    • Effectively collect, analyze, synthesize, integrate, recall and apply information and knowledge to provide safe patient care for assigned clinical shifts.

    Examples of learning activities found in the nursing curriculum and related to industry standards:

    • Process information thoroughly and quickly to prioritize and implement nursing care.
    • Sequence or cluster data to determine patient needs.
    • Develop and implement a nursing plan of care for patients in acute, long term and community settings.
    • Discriminate fine/subtle differences in medical word endings.
    • Report patient data using multiple formats to members of the healthcare team.
    • Appropriately interpret medical orders and patient information found in the medical record.
    • Perform math computations for medication dosage calculations. Apply knowledge/skills gained through completion of program prerequisites, including requirement for computer proficiency.



    • Coordinate fine and gross motor movements.
    • Coordinate hand/eye movements.
    • Negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs.
    • Work effectively and efficiently within a limited space.
    • Effectively manage psychomotor tasks to provide safe patient care for up to twelve (12) hour clinical shifts.

    Examples of learning activities found in the nursing curriculum and related to industry standards:

    • Transfer patient/patients in and out of bed from stretchers and wheelchairs.
    • Control a fall by slowly lowering patient to the floor.
    • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
    • Lift, move, turn, position, push, or pull patients and/or objects, weighing up to 35 pounds.
    • Reach to place or access equipment such as intravenous fluid bags or bend or squat to reach catheter bags, within compliance of safety standards.
    • Transport equipment and supplies to the patient bedside.
    • Manipulate small equipment and containers, such as syringes, vials, ampules, and medication packages, to administer medications.
    • Dispose of needles in sharps container.
    • Dispose of contaminated materials in a safe and compliant manner.
    • Complete assigned periods of clinical practice (up to twelve (12) hour shifts, days, evenings, or nights, holidays, weekdays and weekends).
    • Complete skills tests within assigned time limit.


    • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences, including but not limited to information conveyed through online coursework, lecture, small group activities, demonstrations, and application experiences.
    • Collect information through a variety of senses and/or using appropriate

    and approved equipment.

    • Use and interpret information from diagnostic procedures.

    Examples of learning activities found in the nursing curriculum and related to industry standards:

    • Detect changes in skin color, condition, or temperatures (i.e. pale, ashen, grey, or bluish).
    • Detect a fire in the patient care environment.
    • Draw up a prescribed quantity of medication into a syringe.
    • Observe patients in a room from a distance of 20 feet away.
    • Detect sounds related to bodily functions using appropriate equipment, such as a stethoscope.
    • Detect alarms generated by mechanical systems such as those that monitor bodily functions, fire alarms, call bells.
    • Observe and collect data from recording equipment and measurement devices used in patient care
    • Communicate with patient and members of the healthcare team in person and over the phone in a variety of settings, including isolation and the operating room where health team members are wearing masks and there is background noise.
    • Detect foul odors of bodily fluids or spoiled foods.
    • Detect smoke from burning materials.
    • Detect unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices used in patient care.
    • Detect anatomical abnormalities, such as subcutaneous crepitus, edema, or infiltrated intravenous fluids.
    • Feel or note vibrations, such as an arterial pulse, using touch or approved equipment.


    • Demonstrate ability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments to provide safe patient care.
    • Maintain effective communication and teamwork to provide effective patient care.
    • Examine and modify one’s own behavior when it interferes with others or the learning environment.
    • Possess attributes that include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility and tolerance.
    • Accept responsibility for own actions and communicate in a courteous, assertive, non-aggressive, non-defensive manner with instructors, peers, staff and healthcare team members.
    • Integrate feedback into own performance.

    Examples of learning activities found in the nursing curriculum and related to industry standards:

    • Exercise judgment, meet acceptable timeframes for patient care delivery (acceptable timeframes are reflected by ability to carry out the usual patient care assignment for a particular point in the program), work effectively under stress, and adapt to rapidly changing patient care environments.
    • Accept accountability for actions that resulted in patient care errors.
    • Deal effectively with interpersonal conflict if it arises and maintain effective and harmonious relationships with members of the healthcare team.

    Initiated: By OCAP members
    Revised: 2/18
    Reviewed: 4.17
    Revised: 4.15