What to Expect in a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Nursing Program
We often receive inquiries from our prospective students and program applicants about
what to expect in the Nursing program, so we have prepared this information sheet.
The first section presents the common Physical Requirements for entry and continuation
in a Nursing program. The second section discusses sources of stress identified by
The following physical requirements must be evaluated by a physician prior to entry
into a Nursing program. Upon admission to the Nursing program, you will be required
at that time to have a physical and have a doctor complete our required form, as to
your abilities with regards to these physical requirements. The physical exam form
will be provided to you at Orientation once admitted to the Nursing program.
- Strength: Sufficient to assist with lifting and transferring a patient, and perform
- Mobility: Sufficient mobility to bend, stoop, and bend down to the floor; ability
to move around rapidly; and to move in small, confined areas.
- Hearing: Sufficient to hear through the stethoscope to discriminate sounds; to hear
cries for help; to hear alarms on equipment and emergency signals; and various overhead
- Vision: Sufficient to make physical assessments of patients and equipment.
- Communication: Able to communicate in both verbal and written formats; and interact
with clients, staff, and faculty supervisors.
If you have a disability that will require reasonable accommodations to fulfill these
requirements then please contact Disabled Student Services. You can reach them by
phone at (760) 750-4905 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources of Stress Identified by Nursing Students
While faculty will work with you to make "reasonable accommodations" in the campus
lab and classroom, there are clinical practice conditions that occur in the hospital
environment that are beyond faculty control. The physical requirements above are necessary
to function in the hospital and community health settings. Students must be able to
perform and complete course objectives and requirements with or without reasonable
accommodations. Additional skills and abilities are needed to perform patient care
in the clinical settings in order to pass nursing course objectives and requirements.
These skills and abilities can be honed and developed while in the Nursing program,
but we want to present a realistic picture of stressors for nursing students.
- There is a great deal of information that has to be learned and retained. Students
in a nursing program must demonstrate knowledge of these concepts in the classroom
setting. In addition, the student must be able to recall, articulate and demonstrate
concepts & skills in a timely manner in hospitals and clinics, so there is no delay
in patient care. It takes a lot of practice, both in the clinical skills lab ‘classroom
setting, and at the clinical sites to master some skills. It is not unusual for students
to attend voluntary lab practice on their own time, outside of class.
- In addition to the development and application of this extensive knowledge base in
a timely manner, students must have sufficient emotional stability to perform under
stress. This stress is produced by both academic study and the necessity of performing
nursing care in real patient situations while being observed by the instructors, other
health care professionals, and patients.
- Time requirements and need for scheduling flexibility: In terms of course and clinical
times, days and locations, these will vary from term to term. We make every effort
to group your Nursing didactic (lecture) courses each term, but these may occur Monday
- Saturday. There have been rare occasions when a lecture course has been held during
the day on Saturdays, so students need to be prepared for this occasional possibility.
- Required Off-campus Clinical Courses: Each semester you will also be taking clinical
courses, giving you training and experience in health care settings. The courses
are typically held in hospitals, but will also include skilled nursing facilities,
hospice, community health and public health facilities. These clinical sites are
can be located throughout San Diego County, and sometimes in Southwest Riverside County.
You will need your own personal form of reliable transportation. Hours of clinical
assignments can vary from as early as 6 a.m. or possibly extend as late as 11 p.m.,
Monday through Saturday. Currently we don't have any clinical assignments on Saturdays,
but this may change as clinical sites get harder to secure. Clinical placements are
The School of Nursing
CSU San Marcos