Core Performance Standards for BSN Admission and Progression



Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment.

·         Identifies safety issues in clinical situations

·         Identifies cause/effect relationships in clinical situations, develops, evaluates, and revises nursing plan of care as appropriate

·         Has the ability to make safe judgments when planning and implementing all psychomotor nursing prescriptions

·         Manages multiple priorities in stressful situations

·         Responds instantly to emergency situations

·         Exhibits arithmetic competence that would allow the student to read, understand and perform accurate calculations for computing medication dosages and intravenous flow rates


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

·         Establishes appropriate rapport with clients and colleagues

·         Has the ability to work in groups on course activities

·         Maintains therapeutic relationships with clients and colleagues

·         Respects cultural diversity and rights of others

·         Works effectively in small groups as a team member and as a team leader

·         Practices verbal and non-verbal therapeutic communication

·         Recognizes and attempts to resolve adverse events for both clients and colleagues


Communication abilities (hearing, speaking, reading, and writing) sufficient for interaction with others in verbal, written, assisted and electronic form.

·         Writes and speaks English effectively so as to be understood by the general public

·         Has the ability to complete written assignments, participate in classroom discussion/activities, and complete group projects

·         Has the ability to focus in class without making disruptive interruptions

·         Communicates therapeutically with clients, families, and groups in a variety of settings

·         Documents client data and nursing care completely and accurately

·         Provides health teaching information for clients, families, and/or groups based on assessed needs, available resources, age, lifestyle, and

cultural considerations

·         Has the ability to use a variety of computer programs and platforms

·         Must be able to give and receive constructive feedback, process feedback, and utilize it to conform behavior to expected professional standards

Physical Mobility

Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces

Maintains physical tolerance for repetitive movements and demands of the work assignment

·         Able to attend and participate in class

·         Has the ability to push, pull and/or lift a minimum of 30 lbs. of weight

·         Has mobility and stamina sufficient to function for up to a 12 hour clinical experience in various settings

·         Lifts, moves, positions, and transports clients without causing harm to client or self

·         Has the ability to move around client’s room, work spaces and treatment areas, in all clinical settings

·         Has the ability to stoop, bend, squat, and reach overhead as required to deliver care safely in emergent and non-emergent situations

·         Performs cardiopulmonary resuscitation according to recommended procedures and professional standards

Gross and Fine Motor

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

·         Performs physical activities necessary to accomplish nursing skills, including but not limited to: putting on sterile gloves, donning mask and gown, operating a manual and electronic blood pressure cuff, using sterile technique and performing essential client care

·         Performs correct hand washing technique

·         Provides or assists with activities of daily living

·         Administers all routes of medications to maintain client safety

·         Has the ability to use computers and other electronic devices

·         Performs electronic keyboarding/documentation and/or extensive writing

·         Calibrates and uses equipment correctly (e.g. syringes, vials, ampoules, medication packages)

·         Has the gross and fine motor ability to grasp small objects (e.g. IV tubing, syringe, dropper)


Auditory ability (with or without assistive devices) sufficient to monitor and assess health needs

·         Has the auditory ability to participate in class lectures and contribute to discussions

·         Hears verbal exchanges among health care personnel and clients

·         Has the auditory ability to monitor alarms, emergency signals, and cries for help

·         Has the auditory ability to hear and distinguish changes in tone and pitch for example when listening to a client’s respirations, cardiac, and abdominal auditory characteristics when using a stethoscope


Visual ability (with or without assistive devices) sufficient for observation and assessment

·         Has the visual ability to observe audio-visual aids and client, peer, and faculty responses.

·         Has the visual ability to read medical documents; see small calibrations on sphygmomanometers, syringes, and thermometers; observe patient responses to interventions or health problems; and detect color changes

·         Performs nursing skills such as inserting urinary catheters and IV devices, counting respirations, and preparing or administering medications

·         Has the visual ability to discriminate colors, changes in color, size, and contour of body part

·         Has the visual ability to identify, prepare, and administer medications accurately and safely by all routes


Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment

·         Performs palpation functions correctively for physical examination and therapeutic interventions such as pulses, temperature, texture, firmness, softness, and physical landmarks

Emotional Stability

Emotional stability sufficient to tolerate rapidly changing conditions and environmental stress

·         Establishes therapeutic interpersonal boundaries

·         Provides clients with emotional support

·         Has the ability to focus in clinical settings when the environment is disruptive and distracting

·         Adapts to stressful situations and changing environments while maintaining professional conduct and standards without displaying hostility, agitation, rudeness, or belligerence

·         Poses no threat to self or others

·         Performs potentially stressful tasks concurrently

Professional Behavior

(Adapted from American Nurses Association)

Behave in a respectful, ethical and professional manner with others

·         Interacts respectfully with peers, faculty, superiors, clients, and families

·         Strives to provide quality client care

·         Applies knowledge and clinical reasoning.

·         Reflects on own behavior and clinical performance with clients; engages in self-evaluations

·         Has the ability to interact with peers and colleagues appropriately

·         Has the ability to collaborate with clients, families, and others in nursing situations

·         Integrates ethical behavior in nursing practice

·         Performs activities safely, so as to not injure or harm others or self

·         Recognizes that all students represent the nursing profession and must behave accordingly

·         Respects and adheres to the policies and procedures of the School of Nursing and clinical agencies

BSN Admission Process

To apply to the BSN program in the School of Nursing at UAB, two different application are submitted: UAB Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the UAB School of Nursing BSN application. Current UAB Undergraduate students need to submit only the UAB School of Nursing BSN application.

Admission as a degree-seeking student through the UAB Office of Undergraduate admissions is the first step toward a major in nursing. Admission is based on high school and prior college course work, along with any necessary college-admission entrance exam scores. The online application for the UAB Office of Undergraduate Admissions is available at Application for UAB Undergraduate Admissions along with contact information.

Once admitted as an undergraduate student, the student is notified through an offer-of-admission letter to contact their assigned UAB Advisor in the UAB Advising Office at 205-934-6135 for academic advisement. Advisement with the assigned advisor is a requirement for application to the School of Nursing.
At the scheduled appointment, the advisor will review the student's academic record, including an evaluation of any previous college course work to establish a plan for the sequencing of the prerequisite courses that need to be completed before admission to the School of Nursing. The advisor will also explain the requirements and process for admission to the BSN Program.

When the student has either completed the required prerequisiste courses or is in the last semester of prerequisite courses, the student is issued the School of Nursing BSN application by their assigned advisor.
The student completes the School of Nursing application and submits it and all additional application materials to the School of Nursing Student Affairs Office by the application deadline.

Admission Requirements

The minimum cumulative GPA for all traditional BSN applicants is 2.75 at the time of application (includes transfer students). Admission is competitive and is based on space available. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 does not guarantee admission to the School of Nursing.

Students are eligible to apply when they have successfully completed a minimum of 41 semester credit hours. Successful completion of all pre-nursing foundation courses with a "C" or above in each course must be met prior to matriculation into the nursing program.

Students offered admission to the School of Nursing who are enrolled in prerequisite course work must make a "C" or better in every foundation course for the nursing major. The final minimum cumulative/overall Nursing Foundation Coursework GPA must be a 2.75 or greater.

Admission decisions are competitive and based on the applicant's academic record and application at the time of the application deadline. *All grades (UAB and other colleges/universities) from previous terms must be posted on the applicant's UAB transcript by the application deadline.

A resume outlining health-care interest/experience, campus/community involvement, leadership, and employment is due by the application deadline.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide proof of work/volunteer experience in a health-care setting as part of the application process. The health-care work is to be documented by letters from a supervisor (on agency letterhead) and/or time sheets and must consist of a minimum of 60 hours of paid or volunteer work in a health-care setting. Completion of a nursing-skills course does not meet this criterion.

Applicants to the School of Nursing are strongly recommended to demonstrate a record of full-time study and a minimum number of course repeats/grade forgiveness options.

Admission Decisions

Admission decisions will be based on the applicant's academic record, supporting documents, and BSN application at the time of the application deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide proof of work/volunteer experience in a health-care setting as part of the application process. This experience is not required for admission but factor into the admission decision.

Special Options for Traditional BSN Admission

The UAB Nursing Scholars program for entering freshmen is a special early-admission option for academically qualified high school seniors who have an ACT score of 24 or above or a composite SAT score of 1130, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2. This option ensures admission to the nursing program as long as a minimum GPA of 3.2 is maintained in the BSN foundation courses and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is maintained.  

Prior to Enrollment for Upper-Division Nursing Courses

-CPR certification will be due prior to registration for upper-division courses. The following courses meet this requirement.
       -  American Heart Association's Healthcare Provider Course (Course C or BLSC)
       - American Red Cross's Professional Rescuer Course

-Medical clearance is required prior to registration for all upper-division nursing courses.

-A background check and drug screen will be completed.

Applicants will receive an admissions decision a minimum of four weeks after application for the semester for which they are applying.

Future updates on the BSN admission process will be posted on the School of Nursing Web site, will be available from your advisor, and sent to your "" e-mail address. If you have any questions concerning these changes, please feel free to contact the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs.

*Traditional Students are those students who seek to enter the undergraduate BSN program and are not a RN.