Standards for Admission and Progression

At Fairfield University School of Nursing, students are required to successfully complete clinical practica involving direct patient care. By accepting admission in the School of Nursing, the student understands the program eligibility and progression requirements.

I. Disability Statement

Consistent with its mission and philosophy, Fairfield University School of Nursing does not discriminate on the basis of disability. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the University will assist students in making reasonable accommodations that allow an otherwise qualified student with a disability to meet essential eligibility requirements in order to participate in its programs. Candidates for the nursing program must be able to meet minimum standards for clinical practice, with or without reasonable accommodations. To receive accommodations on the basis of disability, the student must self-identify, provide documentation of the disability, and request accommodation from Disability Support Services. The decision regarding appropriate accommodations will be based on the specifics of each case. Accommodations must specifically address the functional limitations of the disability. An accommodation will not be made in those situations where the accommodation itself would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, cause undue hardship on the school, or jeopardize the health or safety of others. For further information, refer to the Fairfield University .

II. Eligibility Requirements

The curricula leading to degrees in nursing from Fairfield University requires students to possess essential non-academic skills and functions required to engage in clinical practice. It is within the sole determination of Fairfield University and the School of Nursing to assess and determine whether a student meets these skills and functions. Eligibility Requirements for participation and completion in the nursing program shall include, but are not limited to, the following six capabilities:

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment; student must be able to examine, interpret, analyze, and synthesize material for problem solving and evaluation of patient situations and own performance.

  • Ability to assess, plan, establish priorities, implement and evaluate patient outcomes.
  • Ability to calculate appropriate dosages for specific medications.
  • Ability to use good judgment in establishing priorities and making appropriate decisions in client care.

Interpersonal & Communication

Relationship & communication abilities appropriate for interacting sensitively with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Ability to accurately and clearly communicate appropriate information regarding patient status and response to care, both orally and in writing.

  • Interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with patients/families and members of the healthcare team.
  • Ability to gather and record patient data concerning history, heath status and response to care.
  • Ability to give and follow verbal and written reports and directions to patients, families, and members of the health care team.

Sensory Abilities

Ability to observe, identify, and obtain information in order to assess, plan, provide and evaluate nursing interventions; student must possess adequate sensory abilities or be able to demonstrate appropriate and safe compensation for deficits.

  • Visual acuity necessary to observe physical changes in health status, prepare and administer medications, and gather reference material and patient data from written and digital sources.
  • Auditory ability to differentiate normal and abnormal heart, lung, & bowel sounds.
  • Tactile ability to differentiate temperature and anomalies of the skin, as well as unsafe patient care devices.
  • Cognitive ability sufficient to read and understand directions, assignments, and patient documents.

Motor Skills and Mobility

Sufficient mobility, including the gross and fine motors skills needed to provide safe and competent nursing care, both routine and emergency.

  • Sufficient motor skills necessary to perform physical care such as ambulation, positioning, and assist with activities of daily living as needed.
  • Fine motor skills needed for basic assessment such as palpation, auscultation, and percussion.
  • Mobility sufficient to carry out patient care procedures such as suctioning, positioning, and drawing up medication into a syringe.

Emotional Stability

Emotional stability for providing care safely to patients and their families within a rapidly changing and often stressful healthcare environment; the ability to monitor and identify one's own and others' emotions, and use the information to guide thinking and actions.

  • Integrity needed to make ethical decisions and honor the professional code of nursing.
  • Emotional ability to maintain calm in a crisis and emergency situation.
  • Ability to develop mature relationships with the health care team and modify behavior in response to constructive feedback.

Physical Health and Abilities

Physical health and stamina sufficient to provide care to diverse patient populations.

  • Sufficient energy and ability to manage a typical patient assignment in a variety of settings for a full seven hour clinical day.
  • Physical health necessary to care for those who are immuno-compromised, incapacitated, and/or otherwise vulnerable.