Nursing: Core Performance Standards for Admission and Progression

Issue Standard Examples of Nursing Activities

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking sufficient for clinical judgment

Competent assessment of clients in a timely manner. Correct interpretation of assessment data, identification of necessary nursing interventions, design of appropriate nursing care plans, evaluating the effectiveness of interventions and revising planned interventions.


Ongoing capacity to learn new information and skills to provide safe nursing care. This includes the ability to comprehend, measure, calculate, analyze and evaluate diverse forms of information.

Learn new skills and rationales for nursing care in a timely manner. Learn and adopt new methods of providing nursing care to reflect the dynamic nature of health care provision.


Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.

Establish rapport and relate effectively with clients, their families, and colleagues. Work effectively with these individuals when they are stressed physically and/or emotionally. Provide care socially and culturally acceptable to clients


Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.

Follow verbal and written instructions. Clearly communicate with other health care providers by appropriately documenting the nursing interventions provided and the clients’ responses. Provide effective client teaching. Consult with a health care provider in a professional manner


Physical abilities sufficient to move oneself from room to room, along hallways, and in small or confined spaces. The ability to meet the physical demands of providing nursing care.

Lifting, moving, carrying, pushing, pulling, and supporting clients, equipment and other objects independently. Standing, bending, walking, and sitting while working directly with clients and co-workers, and documenting care

Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.

Perform vital signs, CPR, physical assessment, use equipment, hang IVs and tube feedings, draw up and give injections. Document nursing interventions and patient care in legible writing or accurate type.


Tactile dexterity sufficient for physical assessment.

Perform palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention, i.e. insertions of a catheter, giving injections


Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing care.

Reading charts, flow sheets, monitors, thermometers. Assessment of patient skin, color, pupils, wound healing. Drawing up and administering medications.


Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.

Auscultation of blood pressure, breath sounds, bowel sounds. Hearing alarms, call bells, cries for help by clients and families and co-workers. Understanding mechanically reproduced voices such as on audiotape

Personal Behaviors

Maintains personal behaviors consistent with the American Nurses’ Association Code for Nurses.

Demonstrates personal responsibility, accountability, integrity and honesty. Demonstrates respect for self and others through their verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Avoids behavior inconsistent with professional standards such as chemical dependency and abuse, harm toward self or others, or engaging in or supporting criminal behavior.

Adapted from Core Performance Standards Required for Nursing, Board of Directors of the Southern Council on College Education for Nursing (SCCEN), 1993

Academic Progression Criteria

Minimum academic criteria have been established for all students in this degree program. Students are evaluated at the end of each semester based on the following criteria:

  1. Students need to maintain a GPA of 2.75 in the major to progress in the nursing program.
  2. Cumulative quality point average below 2.25: dismissal from the program.
  3. Cumulative quality point average between 2.25 and 2.74 at the conclusion of the fall or spring semester: probation. Student will be considered on probation for an additional semester on a full-time basis. If a cumulative point average of 2.75 has not been attained, dismissal from the program will occur. Students are only permitted to have one probationary semester. Students placed on academic probation for the second time will receive dismissal from the program.
  4. Students are required to attain a 2.75 cumulative QPA at the time of graduation and meet the general standards for scholarship standing given in the ESU Student Handbook. Students can repeat a nursing core course only once. A grade of "C" or above is required for courses listed as prerequisites to the major and for all courses required for the major. All courses specifically listed on the curriculum plan fall into these categories. However, a "C" or better in all required courses does not guarantee progression since the required cumulative QPA minimum is 2.75.

Clinical Nursing Course Requirements

Two months prior to beginning a clinical nursing course, students must submit evidence of current Act 34 clearance and Act 151 child abuse clearance, current CPR certification, professional liability insurance ($1,000,000 per occurrence/$3,000,000 aggregate minimum coverage), appropriate immunizations and titers, and verification of good health, including a negative Mantoux test, or chest x-ray. Immunizations and titers include DT, measles, mumps, Hepatitis B, Rubella vaccine or titer showing immunity and a serology test (VDRL, RPR or STS). Students need to provide evidence of drug screening and yearly flu immunization.

University Health Services offers health examinations and the Mantoux test as a service to students who are enrolled in classes at the university and have a health form on file at the Health Center. The Mantoux test is required annually, and a health examination is required every other year.

The basic nursing student will pay for malpractice insurance, which can be processed by the Nursing Department office. RN to BS students must purchase their own insurance and present evidence prior to enrolling in a clinical nursing course.

RN to BS students are also required to present evidence of current licensure in Pennsylvania. Act 34 and Act 151 clearance forms can be obtained in the Nursing Department office.

Additional Expenses

Additional expenses required of students as they progress through the Nursing Program are uniform costs, travel expenses to clinical sites, NCLEX review courses, and application fees for licensure.

Credit By Examination

Credit for some of the nursing courses may be earned through credit by examination. Other methods of earning credit are explained in the Advanced Placement section of this catalog.

Eligibility for Licensure Examination

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science program are eligible to apply to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Examination for licensure to practice as Registered Nurses. Prospective students should note that there are restrictions on licensure due to felony convictions related to controlled substances. For additional information, contact the Nursing Department at 570-422-3474.

Student Organizations

Students are encouraged to join their professional organization, the Student Nurses Association. This is the local chapter of the National Student Nurses Association.

Grievance Procedure

The university’s grievance procedure can be found in the university’s Student Handbook.

Nursing Honor Society

Senior students who have achieved a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and who rank in the highest 35 percent of their class are eligible to apply for induction into the Xi Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society.