Licensed Practical Nursing Essential Abilities

Licensed Practical Nursing

Professional and Technical Standards - April 2012

Lane Community College Registered Nursing Program has the responsibility to society to educate competent health care providers to care for their patients/clients with critical judgment, broadly based knowledge and competent technical skills which facilitate critical thinking and clinical judgment at the entry level.

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

The purpose of this document is 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.

STANDARDS

Lane 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 standards reflect the performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete the requirements of clinical based health care program(s). These standards are not a requirement of admission into the program(s). Individuals interested in applying for admission to the program(s) should review these standards to develop a better understanding of the skills, abilities and behavioral characteristics required to successfully complete the program.

NURSING PROGRAM CORE COMPETENCIES

Students admitted to the Practical Nursing Program are expected to be able to complete curriculum requirements which include cognitive, physical, 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.

Lane Community College is obliged to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities, which may include but are not limited to academic adjustments or auxiliary aids. 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.

Cognitive:
  • 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 skill.
  • Communicate verbally, and through reading and writing, with individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Relay information in oral and written form effectively, accurately, reliably, and intelligibly to individuals and groups, using the English language.

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 client needs.
  • Develop and implement a nursing plan of care for clients in acute, long term and community settings.Discriminate fine/subtle differences in medical word endings.
  • Report verbally and in writing client data to members of the healthcare team.
  • Read and comprehend medical orders and client information found in the medical record.
  • Perform math computations for medication dosage calculations both with and without a calculator.
Physical:

Motor:

  • Coordinate fine and gross motor movements.
  • Coordinate hand/eye movements.
  • Maintain balance from any position.
  • Negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs.
  • Function with both hands free for performing psychomotor tasks.
  • Maneuver in small areas.
  • Attend to cognitive and psychomotor tasks for up to 7-12 hours.

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

  • Transfer patients/clients in and out of bed from stretchers and wheelchairs.
  • Control a fall by slowly lowering client to the floor.
  • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR)
  • Lift or move (turn, position) clients or objects, pull or push objects, weighing up to 35 pounds and maintain a "medium activity level" as defined by the State of Oregon Department of Insurance Index of occupational characteristics.
  • Reach to shoulder or higher level to place or access equipment such as intravenous fluid bags, bend or squat to access equipment below bed level.
  • Carry equipment and supplies to the client bedside.
  • Manipulate small equipment and containers, such as syringes, vials, ampules, and medication packages, to administer medications.
  • Dispose of needles in sharps container.
  • Complete assigned periods of clinical practice (7-12 hour shifts, days, evenings, or nights).

Sensory:

  • 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 observation, listening, touching, and smelling.
  • Use and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers.

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

  • Detect changes in skin color or condition (pale, ashen, gray, or bluish).
  • Detect a fire in the client care environment.
  • Draw up a prescribed quantity of medication into a syringe.
  • Observe clients in a room from a distance of 20 feet away.
  • Detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope.
  • Detect audible 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 client care.
  • Communicate with client 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 changes in skin temperature.
  • Detect unsafe temperature levels in heat-producing devices used in client care.
  • Detect anatomical abnormalities, such as subcutaneous crepitus, edema, or infiltrated intravenous fluids.
  • Feel vibrations such as an arterial pulse.

Behavioral:

  • Demonstrate emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments.
  • Maintain effective, mature, and sensitive relationships with others.
  • 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.

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

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

FACULTY ASSESSMENT, INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT

Any student demonstrating behaviors that call attention to or are an indication of the student not meeting the standards or core competencies, will be excused from the practicum or classroom setting.  These behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • Physical symptoms
  • Impaired judgment
  • Mental or emotional symptoms
  • Disruptive, inappropriate, or inconsistent behavior patterns.