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Technical Standards for Nursing Assistant

The Nursing Assistant program is highly regulated by state and federal law. OBRA, 1987 and State of WI, HFS 129, 2009 offer specific criteria for how the program will be run, what is taught, mandated hours needed to be completed, and ability of the nurse aide to do the work required. Also, it is the intent of Mid-State Technical College to fully comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. In accordance with ADA and Section 504 requirements, special accommodation requests require the approval of the Dean of Health, the disabilities specialist and the DHS Office of Caregiver Quality. All requests for special accommodations must be approved before a student has enrolled in the program. The prospective student must provide documented proof of the need for the special accommodation. Any accommodation cannot substantially alter the requirements or nature of the program or inflict an undue burden on the program and/or clinical sites. (In accordance with the ADA and Section 504, Mid-State does not provide students with personal devices and services.)

In order to assist students in successfully completing the Nursing Assistant program and achieving certification to work through the State of Wisconsin Caregiver Program, Mid-State has developed a set of objective technical standards.

Students will be asked to sign the Statement of Understanding, stating whether or not they are able to meet the technical standards, with or without accommodations, as stated in this document. If a student enters the Nursing Assistant program and is unable to meet technical standards requirements, he/she may not be able to successfully complete the course/program. All documents will be kept on file in the School of Health in accordance with the records retention policy for the program.

For students with a disability, reasonable accommodations are available. Reasonable accommodations are defined as modifications or adjustments that allow individuals with disabilities to gain equal access and have equal opportunities to participate in Mid-State’s courses, services, activities and use of the facilities. To be eligible for disability-related services/accommodations, students must have a documented disability. This documentation must be provided by a licensed professional, qualified in the appropriate specialty area. Mid-State is not obligated to provide an accommodation that requires a substantial change in the curriculum or alteration of an essential element or functions of a program/course. The college is also not obligated to provide an accommodation that poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others.

Accommodations allowed, without disability documentation: supportive back brace or other supportive brace that does not impede required movement or interfere with infection control policies, hearing aids, glasses, and/or contacts. Other student suggested accommodations will require the approval of the Dean of Health, the disabilities specialist, and the Department of Health Services. All requests should be approved before the student has enrolled in the program. Any accommodation cannot substantially alter the requirements or nature of the program or inflict an undue burden on the respective program and clinical sites.

If you are a person with a documented disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact Patti Lloyd, email: patti.lloyd@mstc.edu, phone: 715-422-5452 in Disability Services. It is required that you contact her at least 3 weeks prior to start of the course so that an accommodation plan can be made. If the accommodation plan suggested will change the Nursing Assistant program as it has been currently approved, the plan will need the prior approval of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The following is a list of technical standards students must attain in order to participate in the Nursing Assistant program at Mid-State Technical College.

Gross Motor Skills:
Move within confined spaces
Maintain balance in multiple positions
Reach above shoulders
Reach below waist (e.g., plug electrical appliance into wall outlet)
Reach out front
Fine Motor Skills:
Grasp small objects with hands
Twist (e.g., turn objects/knobs using hands)
Squeeze with finger (e.g., eye dropper)
Pinch/pick or otherwise work with fingers
Pick up objects with hands
Write with pen or pencil
Key/type (e.g., use a computer)

Feel vibrations (e.g., palpate pulses)

Detect temperature (e.g., skin, solutions)

Feel differences in surface characteristics (e.g., skin rashes)

Feel differences in sizes, shapes (e.g., identify body landmarks)

Detect environmental temperature




Stoop/squat for at least one minute

Move quickly (e.g., response to an emergency)

Climb and descend stairs

Walk independently without the assistance of a cane, walker, crutches, wheelchair or the assistance of another person

Environment & Physical Endurance:
Stand (e.g., at client side during daily care)
Maintain physical activity for a period of time from 5 – 8 hours
Tolerate exposure to common allergens such as: pets, body lotions and soaps, cleaning products
Tolerate working in confined areas
Tolerate heat and humidity as high as 90 degrees for up to ½ hour (shower and spa rooms)
Communication Skills:

Interact with others to report observations and advocate for the needs of clients

Speak, write and understand English (e.g. document client information in writing)

Listen/comprehend spoken/written word

Collaborate with others (e.g., health care workers, peers)


See objects clearly and have depth perception and peripheral vision to allow identification of dangerous objects and client situations

Distinguish color and color intensity (e.g., color codes on supplies)

Read and interpret written data on computer monitors and/or paper charts


Hear normal speaking-level sounds (e.g., person-to-person conversation)

Hear faint voices within range of 4 feet (whispers)

Hear in situations when not able to see lips (e.g., when masks are used)

Hear auditory alarms (e.g., monitors, fire alarms, call bells)


Detect differences in body and environmental odors

Emotional Stability:

Interact and support clients during times of stress and emotional upset

Adapt to changing situations and emergency conditions while maintaining emotional control

Cope with strong emotions and physical outbursts of clients while remaining in a reasonable state of calm

Focus attention on clients’ needs despite interruptions and multiple demands

Accept constructive feedback and accept responsibility for own actions

Establish professional relationships

Provide client with emotional support

Deal with the unexpected (e.g., client condition, crisis)

Interpersonal Skills:

Apply knowledge gained in classrooms to establish appropriate relationships with clients, families and co-workers

Show respect for diversity with clients, peers and staff (culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status, abilities/disabilities, etc.)

Negotiate interpersonal conflict


Read and understand a minimum of an 8th grade level with ability to understand charts, graphs, worksheets and medical terminology.

Read and understand digital and computer displays.


Do basic math including add, subtract, multiply, and divide without the use of a calculator

Count and understand the meaning of numbers (basic conversions)

Measure (length, weight, volume)

Tell time on a clock

Count rates (e.g., respiration and pulse)

Compute percentages (e.g., amount of food eaten)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794) prohibits discrimination of persons because of her or his disability. In keeping with these laws, colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System make every effort to ensure a quality education for students. The purpose of this document is to ensure that students acknowledge that they have been provided information on the technical standards required of a student in the Nursing Assistant program.  

This form needs to be completed prior to admission to the Nursing Assistant program. 

Your signature below affirms that you:
  • have read and understand the Technical Standards specific to the Nursing Assistant program.
  • are able to meet the Technical Standards with or without accommodations.
  • have been provided with information concerning accommodations or special services if needed at this time.

By typing my first and last name in this box, I confirm the data I have provided is accurate and that I understand the information provided on the form.