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Technical Standards

According to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing — the U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting body for programs leading to Nursing degrees in the United States —Geisinger must develop and publish technical standards for the admission, retention and graduation of applicants or nursing students in accordance with legal standards. 

The School of Nursing technical standards developed by Geisinger set out below reflect and are consistent with the school’s mission statement and educational philosophy. Diversity is a key part of Geisinger’s mission to graduate excellent students fully prepared to serve diverse patient populations and reduce prevalent inequities in northeast Pennsylvania and elsewhere. We work to add value to the learning experiences for all participants by providing a diverse and inclusive learning environment. 

Essential functions of a nursing student are as follows:

  1. Critical thinking: Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. For example, you must be able to identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations, collect and analyze data to aid in problem solving and develop nursing care plans. You must be able to read and apply information in the clinical setting.
  2. Interpersonal skills: Establish rapport with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
  3. Communication skills: Interact with others in verbal and written form. Must be able to read a patient chart and apply information to the clinical setting. Must be able to spell medical terms.
  4. Mobility: The ability to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. Able to tolerate a clinical experience up to 12 hours in length.
  5. Motor skills: Provide safe and effective nursing care. This may include calibrating and  using equipment, positioning and moving patients, administering cardiopulmonary procedures and performing skill procedures.
  6. Hearing: Monitor and assess health needs and identify a change in patient condition. For example, hearing monitor alarms, emergency signals, auscultation sounds and cries for help. Hear, understand and apply English language.
  7. Visual: Perform visual observation and assessment. For example, observe patient responses, check specimen color and distinguish between colors.
  8. Tactile: Complete physical assessment of patients. For example, performing palpation functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention, insertions of catheters, taking pulses and checking temperature. Olfactory: discern various odors from patients and environment. For example, foul smelling drainages, burning materials, gases and spoiled food.
  9. Weight-bearing strength and mobility: Ability to lift and manipulate/move 45-50 pounds daily.
  10. Cognitive abilities: Be oriented to time, place, and person, organize responsibilities and make decisions. Assess patient complaints, provide prioritized patient care and implement appropriate plans. Provide follow-up evaluative care.
  11. Temperament and emotional control: Be patient, calm and react to perform in a high stress situation. For example, cardiac arrest, shock, hemorrhage and high stakes testing.
  12. Professional behaviors: Form a safe and effective therapeutic relationship with patients. For example, conveying a caring, respectful, sensitive, tactful, compassionate, empathetic and tolerant attitude toward patients, family and members of the interdisciplinary team. Handle multiple tasks. Provide nursing care in an appropriate time frame. Accept responsibility, accountability and ownership of your actions.

Examples are not all inclusive. If you believe you can’t meet one or more of the standards without accommodations or modifications, the school of nursing must determine, on an individual basis, whether or not the necessary accommodations or modifications can be reasonably made. Direct accommodation requests to the program director or designee.

If you have a change in your health during the program of learning prevents you from meeting essential functions, with or without accommodations, it may result in withdrawal from
the nursing program. The nursing faculty reserves the right at any time to require an additional medical examination at your expense in order to evaluate your ability to perform the essential functions.

Disclaimer: The Lewistown School of Nursing Diploma Program is in the process of merging into an Associate’s Degree of Nursing Program and federal funding is pending approval by the Department of Education until the merger is complete.