Due to the nature of the nursing profession, Belhaven University has identified certain minimum performance standards that are required for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the nursing curriculum. The essential abilities required of the student by these core performance standards are in the following areas:
- Critical thinking: The student must demonstrate the ability to make sound judgments and decisions reflective of their academic preparation.
- Professional relationships: The student must be able to actively collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team to effectively manage care of patients.
- Collaboration is essential for nurses in today's healthcare environment which often includes multidisciplinary healthcare teams which collectively work together to best meet patient needs and produce positive outcomes.
- Communication: The student must demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills throughout the care and treatment of patients. The student must also possess the hearing and speech skills to be able to effectively communicate in person as well as over the telephone. These skills are essential in order to convey comprehensive patient information to the healthcare team in a manner that is thorough and accurate.
- Mobility: The student must have the physical ability to actively participate in learning activities in the classroom and be able to sit or stand for extended periods of time (up to 4 hours consistently). In addition, the student must also demonstrate the physical mobility to be able to stand and move from place to place in clinical environments for extended periods of time (up to 12 hours).
- Motor Skills: In order to provide care to patients, the student must have the gross and fine motor abilities to be able to manipulate tools, and instruments. The student must also have the strength and agility to assist with therapeutic positioning of patients (moving, lifting, and turning) in the clinical setting and be able to lift and carry 25 pounds.
- Hearing: Effective listening skills are essential for the student nurse to be able to effectively dialogue and collaborate with other members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team to affect positive patient care outcomes.
- Visual: The student must have the visual ability to read printed materials and computer screens as well as to assess patient's status and observe subsequent responses to treatments.
- Tactile Sense: The student must have the tactile skills, such as the ability to palpate in order to perform physical assessments and various interventions for patients in a variety of healthcare settings.