Top of page
Global Site Navigation

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Local Section Navigation

Help us improve our content by rating this page.

Page rating system

Please leave a comment about your rating so we can better understand how we might improve the page.

You are here: Main Content

Inherent Requirement Statements

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit, while preserving the academic integrity of the university's learning, assessment and accreditation processes and of the nursing and midwifery professions. The inherent requirements are the abilities, knowledge and skills needed to complete the course that must be met by all students.

Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to enable them to meet these requirements.

The School is committed to making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, clinical practice and other activities to enable students' to participate in their course. Reasonable adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the inherent requirement. Students are required to undertake activities which reflect the Australian health care context which may include mixed gender, religious and culturally diverse environments. For further information contact your Director of Academic Program.

Successfully completing a pre-registration course in nursing and/or midwifery enables you to apply for registration in Australia as a registered nurse and/or midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), which is a partner board of the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Authority (AHPRA).

To support potential and current students' decision making, a series of inherent requirement statements has been developed. These statements specify the requirements of the ECU pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses for student admission and progression.

The statements are clustered under eight domains consisting of ethical behaviour, behavioural stability, legal, communication, cognition, sensory abilities, strength and mobility and sustainable performance.

How to read the Inherent Requirement statements

If you are intending to enrol in a pre-registration nursing and/or midwifery course at the ECU School of Nursing and Midwifery, you should look at these Inherent Requirement statements and think about whether you may experience challenges in meeting these requirements.

If you think you may experience challenges in meeting these requirements for any reason, you should discuss your concerns with the coordinator of the course you want to apply for/enrol in or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service. These staff can help you determine reasonable adjustments to assist you to meet the Inherent Requirements. In cases where it is determined that the Inherent Requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, guidance will be provided regarding other study options.

The Inherent Requirements are made up of the following five components and domains:

  • Level 1 – introduction to the Inherent Requirement
  • Level 2 – description of the inherent requirement
  • Level 3 – explanation of why this is an inherent requirement of pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses
  • Level 4 – the nature of any adjustments that may be made to help you meet the Requirement
  • Level 5 – examples of tasks that show you have met the requirement. These are examples only and are not a comprehensive list.

There are eight domains of Inherent Requirements in each of the pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses at ECU. Some have a number of sub-domains.

  1. Introduction
    Nursing and Midwifery are professions governed by competency standards, codes of ethics, professional conduct expectations and professional boundaries where nurses and midwives are both accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts. These documents are available for review at the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website under ‘Professional Codes and Guidelines’ > ‘Professional Standards’
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates knowledge of, and engages in ethical behaviour in practice.
  3. Justification
    Compliance with the standards, codes, guidelines and policies facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and/or the people with whom they engage. This supports the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must ensure the standards, codes, guidelines and policies are not compromised or result in unethical behaviour. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Demonstration of appropriate behaviour with confidential information in classroom and clinical settings.
    Demonstration of ability to reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues and take responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical behaviour.
  1. Introduction
    Behavioural and emotional stability is required to function and adapt sensitively in the role of a nurse and/or midwife.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates behavioural and emotional stability to work constructively in a diverse and changing academic and clinical environment.
  3. Justification
    Behavioural and emotional stability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Nursing and/or midwifery students will be exposed to emergency situations and human suffering and will be required to have behavioural and emotional stability to manage these.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and clinical settings. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Being receptive and responding appropriately to constructive feedback.
    Coping with own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with individuals in the clinical setting.
  1. Introduction
    Nursing and midwifery practice is mandated by legislation to enable the safe delivery of care.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates knowledge and compliance with Australian law, professional regulations and scope of practice.
  3. Justification
    Knowledge, understanding and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary pre-requisites to clinical placements in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others. Compliance with these professional regulations and the Australian law ensures that students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Complying with the requirement for student registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
    Complying with relevant child protection and other safety legislation.

All ECU pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses require effective verbal and non-verbal and written communication skills.

Verbal

  1. Introduction
    Effective verbal communication, in English, is an essential requirement to provide safe delivery of care.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates:
    • Sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences
    • The ability to understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner
    • The ability to provide clear instructions in the context of the situation
    • Timely clear feedback and reporting
  3. Justification
    Communicating in a way that displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships is a necessary part of nursing and midwifery. Communication may be restricted to verbal because of physical limitations of the individual (e.g. injury, disease or congenital conditions). Speed and interactivity of communication may be critical for individual safety or treatment. Timely, accurate and effective delivery of instructions is critical to individual safety, treatment and management.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safety and appropriate care. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Participation in tutorial, simulation and clinical discussions.
    Responding appropriately to a care request in the clinical environment.

Non-verbal

  1. Introduction
    Effective non-verbal communication is fundamental to nursing and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic and non-judgmental.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates:
    • The capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues
    • Consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviours
    • Sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences
  3. Justification
    The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues assists with building rapport with people and gaining their trust and respect is required in academic and professional relationships. Displaying consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures promotes trust in academic and professional relationships. Being sensitive to individual and/or cultural differences displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships. The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues is essential for the safe and effective observation of patient symptoms and reactions to facilitate the assessment and treatment of patients.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must enable the recognition, initiation of or appropriate response to effective non-verbal communication in a timely and appropriate manner. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Recognising and responding appropriately in classroom situations.
    Recognising and responding appropriately to cues in the clinical environment.

Written

  1. Introduction
    Effective written communication, in English, is a fundamental nursing responsibility with professional and legal ramifications.
  2. Description
    Students must be able to demonstrate the capacity to construct coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstances.
  3. Justification
    Construction of written text based assessment tasks to reflect the required academic standards are 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.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must enable the ability to meet necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and clinical settings. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Constructing an essay to academic standards.
    Constructing a nursing or midwifery report in a timely manner that meets professional standards.

All ECU pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses require knowledge of theory and the skills of cognition, literacy and numeracy.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

  1. Introduction
    Consistent knowledge and effective cognitive skills must be demonstrated to provide safe and competent nursing or midwifery care.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates:
    • The capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information
    • The ability to process information relevant to practice
    • The ability to integrate and implement knowledge in practice
  3. Justification
    Safe and effective delivery of nursing care is based on comprehensive knowledge that must be sourced, understood and applied appropriately.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must ensure that a clear demonstration of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Ability to conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items.
    Application of knowledge of policy and procedures in the clinical setting.

Literacy (language)

  1. Introduction
    Competent literacy skills are essential to provide safe and effective delivery of care.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates:
    • The ability to acquire information and accurately convey appropriate, effective messages
    • The ability to read and comprehend a range of literature and information
    • The capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner
  3. Justification
    The ability to acquire information and to accurately convey messages is fundamental to ensure safe and effective assessment, treatment and delivery of care. The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for the safe and effective delivery of nursing care.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must enable a capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Can demonstrate the ability to listen to and retain information.
    Can demonstrate the ability to convey a spoken message accurately.
    Can demonstrate the ability to paraphrase, summarise and reference in accordance with appropriate academic conventions.
    Can demonstrate accurate, concise and clear nursing and/or midwifery documentation. 

Numeracy

  1. Introduction
    Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and effective care.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates the ability to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and numerical criteria.
  3. Justification
    Competent application of numeracy skills is essential in nursing to facilitate the safe and effective delivery of nursing care.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must enable a capacity to interpret and apply concepts and processes appropriately in a timely, accurate and effective manner. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Performing accurate drug calculations.
    Demonstrating accurate recording on a fluid balance chart.

Visual

  1. Introduction
    Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective nursing care.
  2. Description
    Student has sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills.
  3. Justification
    Sufficient visual acuity is necessary to demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe care of self and to others. Visual observations, examination and assessment are fundamental to safe and effective nursing and midwifery practice.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    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 the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Accurately drawing up medication to administer.
    Observing and detecting subtle changes in wounds.

Auditory

  1. Introduction
    Auditory ability is required to provide safe and effective nursing care.
  2. Description
    Student has sufficient aural function to undertake the required range of skills.
  3. Justification
    Sufficient auditory ability is necessary to monitor, assess and manage an individual's health needs consistently and accurately. Auditory assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective nursing and midwifery practice
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    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 the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Accurately undertaking a blood pressure measurement by auscultation.
    Detecting care requests by activation of call bell or calls for help.

Tactile

  1. Introduction
    Sufficient tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe nursing care.
  2. Description
    Student demonstrates adequate tactile function sufficient to undertake the required range of skills and assessments.
  3. Justification
    Sufficient tactile ability is necessary to monitor, assess and detect patients' physical characteristics and act on any abnormalities detected to provide thorough nursing care. Tactile assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective nursing practice.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must enable the capacity to make effective assessments of physical characteristics and abnormalities within safe time frames. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Detecting any changes in circulation through e.g. measurement of temperature and pulse palpation.
    Conducting a physical assessment and detecting any anatomical abnormalities.

This course requires strength and mobility involving fine and gross motor skills.

Gross motor

  1. Introduction
    Nursing and midwifery involve physical demands and require gross motor function.
  2. Description
    Student has the ability to perform gross motor skills to function within scope of practice.
  3. Justification
    Sufficient gross motor skills are necessary 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 self and others.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    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 the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
  6. Maintaining balance while safely mobilising and transferring individuals or resources.
    Able to safely retrieve and utilise stock and equipment.

Fine motor

  1. Introduction
    Nursing and midwifery are professions that require manual dexterity and fine motor skills.
  2. Description
    Student has the ability to use fine motor skills to provide safe and effective care.
  3. Justification
    Sufficient 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 various objects and individuals. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    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 the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service.
  5. Examples
    Performing an aseptic wound dressing.
    Able to prime, accurately insert and set prescribed rate on an infusion device.
  1. Introduction
    Nursing practice requires both physical and mental performance at a consistent and sustained level.
  2. Description
    Consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task 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.
  3. Justification
    Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in an assigned period to provide safe and effective care.
  4. Reasonable adjustments
    Adjustments must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the course coordinator and/or the ECU Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service
  5. Examples
    Participating in tutorials, lectures and skills workshops.
    Providing consistent care over a negotiated time frame.

This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Con Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International licence. 

Acknowledgement: This content is based on that developed by Johnson, A., Allan,T., Phillips,K., Azzopardi,T., Dickson,C., Goldsmith,M & Hengstberger-Sims, C. (2011). Inherent Requirements of Nursing Education (IRONE), University of Western Sydney (UWS) School of Nursing & Midwifery and UWS Student Equity & Disability Services to form the UWS Inherent Requirements http://www.uws.edu.au/ir

The Inherent Requirements content © University of Western Sydney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International licence.

Skip to top of page