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Nursing Essential Functions


Nursing is a physically and mentally demanding profession.  Listed here are essential functions determined to be necessary for success in nursing. Prospective students must be able to perform and/or develop the following essential functions in order to be successful at Walla Walla University School of Nursing.

Essential Functions


Examples (not limited to these)


Use of visual and auditory senses to gather data

Assessment of color changes in skin Hearing heart and lung sounds


Verbal and written communication in private and public settings; communication must be in English

Interacting with other people one-on-one and in groups
Understanding nonverbal communication (body language)

Documenting nursing care Writing term papers

Motor Abilities

Physical ability, coordination and stamina

Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Transferring/lifting patients
Maneuvering in limited spaces

Providing nursing care for 8-12 hour periods

Intellectual & Conceptual

Comprehension and problem solving ability

Calculating drug dosages
Analyzing information
Prioritizing nursing care
Synthesizing data from multiple sources Making decisions with limited data Tolerating ambiguity

Behavior &


Emotional stability, capacity for self- reflection and change

Functioning effectively under stress Caring for others
Respect and acceptance of patients from diverse backgrounds

Resolving conflict
Accepting constructive criticism

Last update on August 25, 2016