Technical Standards for Admission and Progression

By accepting admission and enrolling in the Yale School of Nursing, students certify that they have read this policy and understand the technical standards for admission and progression in the program. In addition to didactic content, nursing education requires that a student must complete a clinical/practicum component that involves caring for patients. This policy reviews the School’s expectations for the student’s participation in and adherence to required technical standards in the classroom, simulation, and throughout clinical settings. The Yale School of Nursing does not discriminate on the basis of disability. If reasonable accommodations will allow an otherwise qualified student with a disability to meet these technical standards, reasonable accommodations will be provided. Students who require accommodations on the basis of disability must register with Student Accessibility Services (see Student Accessibility Services in the chapter Yale University Resources and Services), provide supporting documentation to that office, and request accommodation.

Essential eligibility requirements for participation in the nursing program include the following technical standards:

Observation/Communication

  • Auditory, visual, and tactile ability sufficient to observe, monitor, assess, and respond to patient health needs in a variety of clinical settings
  • Capacity to use data for demonstrations and oral presentations, and use visual images, sounds, and verbal and non-verbal communication to inform patient care
  • Ability to record information accurately and clearly in oral and written form and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues

Physical/Motor

  • Physical abilities sufficient to move throughout clinical settings, execute motor movements, and perform manually based diagnostic procedures (i.e., palpation, auscultation, percussion, etc.) required to provide general and emergency patient care
  • Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide therapeutic nursing interventions that are safe and effective and that maintain safety and security standards
  • Motor skills sufficient to meet the requirements specific to the specialty scope of practice

Intellectual—conceptual, integrative, and quantitative

  • Critical thinking sufficient for clinical and academic judgment
  • Sophisticated problem-solving skills, including calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis; ability to learn through a variety of modalities, including classroom, simulation, and clinical settings, individual and team-based learning, preparation of oral and written reports, and use of technology to support academic work
  • Ability to integrate and assimilate complex information from multiple sources in varying amounts, and multiple educational experiences in a timely fashion in order to formulate accurate diagnosis and management plans
  • Ability to comprehend spatial relationships and three-dimensional relationships of structures

Behavioral/Social

  • Interpersonal ability to interact appropriately, sensitively, and compassionately with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
  • Ability to adhere to the Yale School of Nursing Personal Conduct Policy in academic and clinical settings
  • Ability to demonstrate appropriate judgment in decision-making, in order to maintain safety and security of patients and to behave appropriately with patients, staff, students, and supervisors
  • Ability to function effectively under physically demanding workload, long hours, and in times of physical and mental stress; display flexibility and openness for changing environments
  • Ability to engage in respectful, mature, and healthy client-provider relationships.


Updated July 2016
Approved May 2020 by Executive Committee; edited and final approval June 2020