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Technical Standards for Admission at the KU School of Nursing

Students in the School of Nursing's Master of Science program must meet our technical standards for admission.

You are required to read the following information. All individuals admitted to the University of Kansas School of Nursing will be asked to verify that they can meet these standards with or without accommodation(s).

In courses or programs without clinical components or involving no direct client care, these Technical Standards may be modified by the Student Admission and Progression Committee (SAPC).

After acceptance, but before admission to the School of Nursing, students in all programs must be able to document current certification/evidence of completion of a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for health care providers. This requires being able to successfully complete both the written and practical test for certification.

In addition, with or without accommodation, the following abilities and expectations must be met by all undergraduate and graduate students admitted to the School of Nursing.


A. Observation/Sensory-motor

Applicants must be able to observe demonstrations and learn from experiences in the basic sciences, including but not limited to, physiology and pharmacology, microbiology and pathophysiology laboratory situations.

Applicants must be able to observe and learn from experiences in the clinical nursing laboratory such as the following examples:

  • Accurately read gradients/calibrations on a syringe
  • Measure medications accurately
  • Accurately recognize color changes on chemical reaction strips
  • Assess heart, breath, abdominal sounds
  • Assess normal and abnormal color changes in the skin
  • Observe pupil changes
  • Observe digital or waveform readings
B. Communication

Communications include not only speech but also reading, writing and computer usage, including handheld digital access.

Applicants must be able to communicate accurately and effectively with patients, caregivers, physicians, other health professionals, clinical facility staff, faculty and staff, peers and the community in general in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture and perceive nonverbal communications.

C. Psychomotor

Applicants should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers.

Applicants should be physically able to collect specimens and perform basic tests, such as a glucose finger stick and urine dipstick. Applicants should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.

Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of nurses include:

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
  • administration of intravenous medication;
  • application of pressure to stop bleeding; and
  • assisting in moving and lifting patients using proper body mechanics. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and using tactile and visual senses.
D. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative

Applicants must be able to comprehend and interpret documents written in English. Applicants should have cognitive abilities including measurements, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis.

Critical thinking is the ability to synthesize knowledge and integrate the relevant aspects of a client's history, physical exam findings and diagnostic studies. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of nurses, requires all of these intellectual abilities.

In addition, the applicant should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures in order to understand normal and abnormal anatomy and physiology.

E. Behavioral and Social Attributes

Applicants must possess the emotional health required to utilize their intellectual abilities fully, exercise good judgment, complete all responsibilities attendant to the nursing diagnosis and care of patients promptly, and develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and their families.

Applicants must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal communication skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education process.

As a component of nursing education, a student must demonstrate ethical behavior including adherence to the professional nursing and student honor codes. The honor code at the KU School of Nursing is the Professional Integrity System (PROFITS). KU PROFITS is a peer-oriented integrity system to promote an environment where academic honesty is valued and expected.

Reasonable Accommodation

Applicants who disclose a disability are considered for admission if they are otherwise qualified so long as such accommodation does not significantly alter the essential requirements of the curriculum and the educational program or significantly affect the safety of patient care or others.

When applicants or students disclose a disability, the provision of reasonable accommodations will be considered in an attempt to assist these individuals in meeting these required technical standards.

Applicants whose response indicates that they cannot meet one or more of the expectations will be reviewed further by the university's Office for Academic Accommodations, with applicant and faculty input, to determine if any reasonable accommodations are possible to facilitate successful completion of the nursing curriculum and preparation for the national registry examination.

For more information

If you have questions or need more information, contact Academic Accommodations Services at 913-945-7035 or

It is important to give persons interested in enrolling in nursing a realistic view of the vigorous demands of the School of Nursing's theoretical and practicum curriculum while at the same time investigating reasonable accommodations. Whether or not a requested accommodation is reasonable will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Interested individuals may schedule an orientation visit to the nursing skills laboratory and actual sites of The University of Kansas Health System and/or the University of Kansas Medical Center. These orientation visits enable persons to assess their interest and ability to function in the actual clinical areas and to learn and demonstrate manual skills.

Master of Science in Nursing

KU School of Nursing
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mail Stop 2029
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-1619 | TTY 711