Core Performance Standards

The ADN faculty have identified the following standards for applicants to the nursing program as well as those enrolled in the program. These standards are required abilities and activities nursing students are expected to possess in order to perform essential functions required of the ADN program. These core performance standards support the program objectives.

Applicants and currently enrolled students unable to meet the core performance standards are responsible for exploring the feasibility of reasonable accommodations with the ADA and OCR Coordinator at (601)-276-3885. Applicants and enrolled students must follow college policies and procedures related to students with disabilities as outlined in the College Catalog. For an application and guidelines for documentation of disability, write Dr. Bill Ashley, Vice President of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator, , Southwest Mississippi Community College, 1156 College Drive, Summit, MS 39666 or call (601) 276-3717.





Ability to perceive events realistically, use critical thinking, problem-solving, and make decisions to function appropriately in routine and stressful situations.

Observational and assessment skills to identify changes in client health status. 

Prioritize information and identify cause and effect relationships to make sound nursing judgments. Uses the nursing process in providing care. 

Demonstrate critical thinking skills by managing multiple priorities in stressful situations.

Arithmetic competence that allows the student to read and understand writing, time, measuring tools, and perform drug calculations.


Abilities sufficient to interact appropriately with individuals, families, and groups of people from a variety of backgrounds.

Read, understand, comprehend and communicate with others. Write and speak English competently.

Maintain therapeutic relationships with clients and colleagues.

Provide health teaching and explain procedures.

Confirm responses/messages with others and document responses.

Obtain a health history from client/family.

Give and receive relevant verbal and nonverbal feedback.

Interpret emotions from nonverbal behaviors.

Manage a variety of client expressions (anger, fear, hostility) in a calm manner.

Respect the rights of others and socio-cultural differences in clients, families, and groups.

Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor skills sufficient to respond promptly in providing safe and effective care.

Picking up, grasping, and manipulating small objects.

Perform physical assessment (e.g. palpate a pulse, tap body surfaces).

Perform CPR.

Reach, manipulate, operate equipment, instruments and supplies.

Computer skills/documentation.

Extensive writing with a pen and/or pencil.

Transfer/position client with assistance.

Perform procedures ordinarily requiring manual dexterity and precision (e.g. sterile technique, blood pressure).

Make an occupied & unoccupied bed.

Perform range of motion for the client.

Mobility/Activity Tolerance

Physical ability sufficient to move about on a nursing unit, clients' rooms, and provide nursing care

Physical mobility and strength sufficient to propel wheelchairs, stretchers, etc., through doorways and close fitting areas alone or with assistance.

Stand, walk-up to 75% of a eight to twelve hour shift.

Respond quickly in emergencies.

Stoop, bend, squat, reach overhead as required to reach equipment, and provide nursing care.

Lift a minimum of 15 lbs. of weight.

Demonstrate coordination in client treatments/procedures.

Use correct body mechanics.

Provide for activities of daily living (ie. physical hygiene).


Auditory ability necessary to monitor and assess the client and the environment.

Perceives and receives verbal communication from clients and members of the health team.

Hears monitors, alarms, emergency signals, lung / heart / bowel sounds, cries for help & distress, telephone interactions, codes.

Distinguish sounds with background noise ranging from conversational levels to high pitched sounding alarms.


Visual acuity necessary in the observation and assessment of the client and environment in providing nursing care.

Reads small print, gauges, measuring cups, syringes, and other equipment.

Observes client responses (level of consciousness, breathing patterns).

Discriminates color changes.

Accurately prepares and administers medications.

Recognize and address the environment (safety rails, restraints, chemical, water spills), and other harmful situations.


Ability to tolerate environmental stressors.

Adapt to rotating shifts.

Work with chemical and detergents.

Tolerate exposure to fumes, odors, blood/body fluids, infectious agents, hazardous chemicals (cleaners), chemical compounds (meds/tx).

Work in areas that are close and crowded.

Work in areas of potential physical violence.

Seasonal exposure to heat, cold, and humidity due to client and agency control of their environment.

Use appropriate hand washing technique.

Gown, glove, and mask appropriately.

Tolerate wearing gloves and other protective devices.

Tolerate occasional exposure to loud and unpleasant noises.

Accountability and Responsibility

Cognitive/emotional abilities necessary to demonstrate responsibility and accountability in providing safe nursing care.

Ability to understand and abide by legal and ethical standards.

Shows a caring attitude toward others.

Demonstrate an attitude of honesty and openness throughout the learning process.

Be flexible and adaptive.

Ability to monitor own emotions.

Ability to understand and abide by a chain of command.

Ability to comprehend, understand, and abide by established policies and procedures.