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ERIC Number: EJ1093588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities: Replacing Essential Functions with Technical Standards for Program Entry Criteria
Matt, Susan B.; Maheady, Donna; Fleming, Susan E.
Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, v28 n4 p461-468 2015
Across the globe, students with disabilities have been increasing in prevalence in higher education settings. In the twenty-first century the struggle to include individuals with disabilities into nursing schools and workplaces continues in different parts of the world. Historically, entry criteria in nursing schools have been based on essential functions, which were primarily designed to be used in the workforce, rather than technical standards for education. In other health professions, such as medicine, this is not necessarily the case. For example, the American Association of Medical Colleges has worked over the past two decades to develop appreciation among medical schools for the need to admit and accommodate students with disabilities. We argue that nursing has not followed suit. This paper presents an integrative literature review, consisting of material from the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Australia, investigating compelling stories, legal mandates, websites, and extant literature looking at essential functions or technical standards as entry criteria for nursing schools. The results show that, when essential functions for employment are used in nursing education, they may be a barrier to entry into that program. The paper concludes with recommendations for well-defined technical standards for nursing schools to be used primarily as entry criteria.
Association on Higher Education and Disability. 107 Commerce Center Drive Suite 204, Huntersville, NC 28078. Tel: 704-947-7779; Fax: 704-948-7779; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Ireland; United Kingdom; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990; Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A