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Inherent requirements for nursing and midwifery programs

Our nursing and midwifery programs have inherent requirements you must meet to be able to graduate.

Inherent requirements are core activities, tasks or skills that are essential to a program or course. They apply to the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelors of Nursing/Midwifery.

What you need to do

If you plan to apply for one of these programs, carefully read through the inherent requirements.

If you think you may experience any problems meeting them, contact a Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser to discuss your needs and whether any reasonable adjustments can be made.

Learn more about inherent requirements at UQ

Inherent requirements should be read in conjunction with other information, including the program rules and Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia publications, such as:

Ethical behaviour

Context Nursing is a profession governed by competency standards, codes of ethics, professional conduct and professional boundaries where nurses are both accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate knowledge of – and engage in – ethical behaviour in practice.
Why this is required Complying with standards, codes, guidelines and policies facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and the people they engage with. Ethical behaviour protects the rights and dignity of all and supports physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must ensure that standards, codes, guidelines and policies are maintained and do not result in unethical behaviour. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can demonstrate the ability to:

  • manage confidential information appropriately in classroom and clinical settings
  • reflect on ethical issues and take responsibility for demonstrating ethical awareness and conduct in the delivery of care.

Behavioural stability

Context Behavioural stability is necessary to effectively and sensitively function and adapt in nursing roles.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate behavioural stability in diverse, unpredictable and challenging academic and clinical environments.
Why this is required Behavioural stability is necessary to work in diverse, unpredictable and challenging environments, whether individually or on a team. Nursing students will be exposed to emergency situations and human suffering, and are required to have the behavioural stability to manage themselves and their activities in these environments.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and clinical settings. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • be receptive to constructive feedback and respond appropriately when feedback is provided
  • effectively manage your emotions and behaviour in classroom and clinical settings.

Legal

Context Nursing practice is regulated by Australian laws and professional standards to enable the safe delivery of care.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with Australian laws, professional standards and scope of practice.
Why this is required Showing an understanding of and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements reduces the risk of harm to self and others, and are a necessary prerequisite to clinical placements. Compliance with Australian law and regulations ensures students are responsible and accountable for their practice.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • comply with the requirements for student registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • comply with relevant child protection and safety legislation
  • provide evidence where required of your personal history and activities (e.g. police check and/or Blue Card before any clinical placements).

Communication

Verbal

Context Effective verbal communication in English is an essential requirement to provide safe care.
What you need to demonstrate

You, the student, will demonstrate:

  • sensitivity to individual and cultural difference
  • the ability to understand – and accurately and appropriately respond to – verbal communication in a timely manner
  • the ability to give and receive clear instructions in classroom or clinical situations.
  • timely clear feedback and reporting.
Why this is required
  • Communicating with others verbally in a respectful and empathetic way develops trusting relationships.
  • Some people being cared for will only be capable of verbal communication because of physical limitations (e.g. injury, disease or congenital conditions).
  • Efficient and interpersonal verbal communication can be critical in fast-moving situations to achieve safe, timely and effective treatments.
  • Timely, accurate and effective delivery of instructions is critical to individual safety, treatment and management.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must address issues concerning the effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy of verbal communication to achieve safe and appropriate care. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • participate in tutorial, simulation and clinical discussions
  • respond appropriately to care requests in clinical environments.

Non-verbal

Context Appropriate non-verbal communication is fundamental to nursing and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic and non-judgmental.
What you need to demonstrate

You, the student, will demonstrate:

  • the capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues
  • consistent and appropriate awareness of your own behaviours
  • sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.
Why this is required
  • The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues helps to build rapport and develop trustful and respectful relationships in academic and professional contexts.
  • Displaying consistent and appropriate facial expressions and eye contact – and being aware of spatial boundaries, body movements and gestures – helps to build rapport and develop trustful and respectful relationships in academic and professional contexts.
  • Being sensitive to individual and cultural differences shows respect for others and develops trustful and empathetic relationships.
  • The ability to observe, understand and respond appropriately to non-verbal cues is essential to safely and effectively assess and treat patients and their symptoms.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must enable a student to effectively recognise, initiate or respond to non-verbal communication in a timely and appropriate manner. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can recognise and respond appropriately:

  • in classroom situations
  • to cues in the clinical environment.

Written

Context Effective written communication in English is essential to nursing practice and has professional and legal ramifications.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate the capacity to produce coherent written material – including documents and records – appropriate to the circumstances.
Why this is required
  • Written assessment tasks reflect the required academic standards necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice.
  • Accurate written communication, including record-keeping and patient notes, is vital to provide consistent and safe patient care.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must enable a student to meet necessary standards of clarity and accuracy to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and clinical settings. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can construct:

  • an essay that meets minimum academic standards
  • a nursing report in a timely manner that meets minimum professional standards.

Cognition

Knowledge acquisition and cognitive ability

Context Cognitive ability and the capacity to learn and recall complex information are essential in providing safe and competent nursing care.
What you need to demonstrate

You, the student, will demonstrate the:

  • capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information
  • ability to process information relevant to practice
  • ability to integrate, reflect on and implement knowledge in classroom and clinical settings.
Why this is required Safe and effective delivery of nursing care relies on comprehensive knowledge that is sourced, understood and applied appropriately.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must ensure knowledge can be clearly demonstrated and cognitive skills are not compromised or impeded. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • demonstrate your ability to interpret, understand, retain and use appropriate knowledge in academic settings and for assessment items
  • appropriately apply knowledge of policy and procedures in clinical settings.

Literacy (language)

Context Competent English literacy skills are essential to provide safe and effective care.
What you need to demonstrate

You, the student, will demonstrate the:

  • ability to acquire information and accurately convey appropriate and effective messages in English
  • ability to read and comprehend a range of information in English
  • capacity to understand and apply academic conventions to write coherent English in a scholarly and professional manner.
Why this is required
  • The ability to acquire information and write and speak clearly and accurately in English is fundamental to the safe and effective assessment, treatment and delivery of nursing care.
  • The ability to read, interpret and understand multiple sources of information is fundamental to the safe and effective assessment, treatment and delivery of nursing care.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must ensure a student can demonstrate an appropriate capacity to acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurately in English. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • listen well to information provided in English
  • speak clearly and accurately in English
  • successfully paraphrase, summarise and reference in English, in accordance with appropriate academic conventions
  • create accurate, concise and clear nursing documentation in English.

Numeracy

Context Competent numeracy skills are essential to deliver safe and effective care.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate the ability to correctly and accurately interpret and apply numerical information, whether data, measurements, or other numbers.
Why this is required Competent numeracy skills are essential to facilitating the safe and effective delivery of nursing care.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must ensure a student can demonstrate a capacity to interpret and apply numerical concepts and processes in a timely, accurate and effective manner. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can perform accurate:

  • drug calculations
  • recordings on a fluid balance chart.

Sensory ability

Visual

Context Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective nursing care.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills.
Why this is required
  • Sufficient visual acuity is needed to complete the required range of skills, tasks and assessment tasks in this program, and to provide consistent, accurate and safe care.
  • Visual observations, examinations and assessment are fundamental to safe and effective nursing practice.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of the vision impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • accurately draw up medication to administer
  • observe and detect subtle changes in wounds
  • observe and detect subtle changes in individual behaviour (e.g. facial expressions with pain).

Auditory

Context Sufficient auditory ability is required to provide safe and effective nursing care.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate sufficient aural function to undertake the required range of skills.
Why this is required
  • Sufficient auditory ability is necessary to monitor, assess and manage a patient’s health needs consistently and accurately.
  • Auditory assessments, examinations and observations are fundamental to safe and effective nursing practice.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of the hearing loss must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • accurately undertake a blood pressure measurement by auscultation
  • respond to a care request through the activation of call bells or calls for help
  • detect the need to adjust intravenous infusion pump settings and provide appropriate patient care when monitoring equipment or when pump alarms are sounding.

Tactile

Context Sufficient tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe nursing care.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate sufficient tactile function to undertake the required range of skills and assessments.
Why this is required
  • Sufficient tactile ability is needed to monitor, assess and detect a patient’s physical state and to provide thorough nursing care.
  • Tactile assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective nursing practice.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must ensure a student can demonstrate the capacity to make effective assessments of physical characteristics and abnormalities within safe time frames. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • detect any changes in a patient’s circulation, for example their temperature and pulse palpation
  • conduct a physical assessment and detect any anatomical abnormalities.

Strength and mobility

Gross motor skills

Context Nursing is physically demanding and requires gross motor function.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate the ability to perform gross motor skills to function within scope of practice.
Why this is required Gross motor skills are needed to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve gross motor skills include lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting and bending. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to themselves and others.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments should facilitate functional effectiveness, safety of self and others, and a capacity to provide appropriate care. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You have the ability to safely:

  • mobilise and transfer individuals or resources
  • retrieve and utilise stock and equipment.

Fine motor skills

Context Nursing requires manual dexterity and fine motor skills.
What you need to demonstrate You, the student, will demonstrate the ability to perform fine motor skills to provide safe effective care.
Why this is required Fine motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve fine motor skills include being able to grasp, press, push, turn, squeeze and manipulate individuals and various objects. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to themselves and others.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments should facilitate functional effectiveness, safety to self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • perform an aseptic wound dressing
  • demonstrate the ability to prime, accurately insert and/or connect and set a prescribed rate on an infusion device.

Sustainable performance

Context Nursing study and practice requires both physical and mental endurance at a consistent and sustained level.
What you need to demonstrate

You, the student, will demonstrate:

  • consistent and sustained physical energy to complete specific tasks in a timely manner and over time
  • the ability to perform repetitive activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately
  • the capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of time.
Why this is required Sufficient physical and mental endurance are essential to performing multiple tasks in an assigned period and to provide safe and effective care.
Scope for reasonable adjustments Reasonable adjustments must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with a UQ Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser.
Example ways to meet the requirement

You can:

  • participate in tutorials, lectures and skills
  • provide consistent, appropriate and quality care across the practicum period associated with courses that require clinical placement.

Need more information?

If you're not sure what an inherent requirement means, contact the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work.


Adapted from Inherent Requirements © University of Western Sydney, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International licence.