Portland Community College Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon


Program Technical Standards

nursing student working on a mannequin

PCC Nursing Program 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 technical standards reflect the performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete the requirements of clinical based health care programs.

The PCC Nursing Program and Disability Services will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities, which may include auxiliary aids and or program modifications. Contact the Nursing Department 971-722-4466 regarding any concerns about these requirements.


  1. Recall, collect, analyze, synthesize, and integrate information from a variety of sources.
  2. Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data.
  3. Problem-solve and think critically in order to apply knowledge and skill.
  4. Communicate verbally, and through reading and writing, with individuals from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  5. Relay information in oral and written form effectively, accurately, reliably, and intelligibly to individuals and group,s using the English language. This includes thorough and accurate use of computers and other tools.
Cognitive 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.
  • • Apply knowledge/skills gained through completion of program prerequisites, including requirement for computer proficiency.


  1. Coordinate fine and gross motor movements.
  2. Coordinate hand/eye movements.
  3. Maintain balance from any position.
  4. Negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs.
  5. Function with both hands free for performing psychomotor tasks.
  6. Maneuver in small areas.
  7. Attend to cognitive and psychomotor tasks for up to 7-12 hours.
Physical 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, holidays, weekdays and weekends).
  • Complete skills tests within assigned time limit.
  1. Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences, including but not limited to information conveyed through online coursework, lecture, small group activities, demonstrations, and application experiences.
  2. Collect information through observation, listening, touching, and smelling.
  3. Use and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers.
Sensory examples of learning activities found in the nursing curriculum and related to industry standards:
  • Detect changes in skin color or condition. (pale, ashen, grey, 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.


  1. Demonstrate emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to changing environments.
  2. Maintain effective, mature, and sensitive relationships with others.
  3. Examine and modify one's own behavior when it interferes with others or the learning environment.
  4. Possess attributes that include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility and tolerance.
  5. Accept responsibility for own actions and communicate in a courteous, assertive, non-aggressive, non-defensive manner with instructors, peers, staff and healthcare team members.
  6. Integrate feedback into own performance.
Behavioral 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.

Compilation and adaptation by Oregon Council of Associate Degree and Practical Nursing Programs (OCAP) and PCC Nursing Faculty, April 24, 2015.