Nursing Essentials

Essential behaviors for UW Bothell nursing students


The Essential Behaviors enumerated in the UW SON Academic Services Memorandum No. 31  amplify requirements found in the University of Washington Student Conduct Code. For admission, continuation, and graduation in their programs. Students must abide by the following specifications for behaviors and abilities. At UW Bothell, the "student" in this document pertains to all master of nursing and bachelors of science nursing students.

Essential behaviors


Students must communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their families as well as with other students, staff, faculty, professionals, agency personnel, community residents, and others relevant to their areas of study. Expression of ideas and feelings must be clear and appropriate. Students must demonstrate a willingness and ability to give and receive feedback.


Students must be able to reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and evaluate in the context of the nursing activities of their programs/areas of study.


Students must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, and the timely completion of responsibilities in their programs/areas of study. Further, students must be able to maintain mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, students, faculty, staff, other professionals, and agency personnel under all circumstances including highly stressful situations. Students must have the emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to environments that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways as relevant to their programs or areas of study. Students must be able to demonstrate empathy for the situations and circumstances of others and appropriately communicate that empathy. Students must acknowledge that values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and experiences affect their perceptions and relationships with others. Students must be able and willing to examine and change behaviors when they interfere with productive individual or team relationships. Students must demonstrate effective and harmonious relationships with the diverse academic, professional, and community environments relevant to their chosen programs of study.

Professional Conduct

Students must possess the ability to reason morally and practice nursing in an ethical manner. They must not engage in unprofessional conduct, and must be willing to learn and abide by professional standards of practice as well as regulations for professional licensure. Students must demonstrate the attributes of compassion, integrity, honesty, responsibility, and tolerance.

Motor and Sensory Skills

Students need to have sufficient motor function and sensory skills in order to be able to execute movements and make observations required in the domain of nursing care or nursing activity in their chosen programs/areas of study.

Reasonable Accommodation for Disabilities

The program is committed to ensuring that otherwise qualified students with disabilities are given equal access through reasonable accommodations to its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for students with disabilities. The program works closely with Disability Resources for Students – Disability Support Services - DSS (Bothell campus) in this process. DSS (Bothell) is the contact point for students with permanent or temporary sensory, physical or psychological disabilities interested in requesting reasonable accommodations due to the effects of a disability.

Students who wish to request reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact DSS (Bothell) to start the process for documenting their disability and determining eligibility for services prior to the start of the program. While this process can be started at any time, reasonable accommodations may not be implemented retroactively so being timely in requesting your accommodations is very important. The University does have policies regarding the type of documentation required in order to diagnose different disabilities and a process for requesting accommodations. To learn more about the process for establishing services through these offices please contact the appropriate office given your campus location:


Disability Resources for Students
18115 Campus Way NE , UW1-119, Box 358500
Bothell , Washington 98011-8246
425.352.5307. TDD 425.352.5303, FAX 425.352.5114

Students with disabilities are expected to perform all the essential functions of the program with or without reasonable accommodation. The program will work with the student and the respective campus disability office to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations. While the program will make every effort to work with our students with disabilities to accommodate their disability-related needs, it is important to note we are not required to provide requested accommodations that would fundamentally alter the essential functions or technical standards of the program.

Implementation of the essential behaviors 

Potential students will be advised of the Essential Behaviors for Admission, Continuation, and Graduation in application packets, during program orientation, and via the School's website. If and when a student does not meet expectations for the essential behaviors, the following will occur:

Problematic behavior documented

Problematic behavior will be documented by faculty in the student's record.

Problematic behavior results in Warning Card and contract

If a pattern of problematic behavior or a single, very serious lapse in the essential behaviors becomes evident, the steps below should be followed so that the student is apprised of a Warning Card indicating that the student's continuation in the program is in jeopardy.

Composing contract

The student's faculty in consultation with an official of the academic program will prepare an individual student contract that must accompany the warning card identifying what needs to be demonstrated in order to meet the essential behaviors and thus remain in the program.

Bachelors of Science in Nursing Curriculum Committee approves contract

The individual student contract is reviewed and approved by BSNCC. The documentation of the lapses in the essential behaviors must accompany the contract.

Student apprised of warning card and given contract

An official of the academic program and the chair of the coordinating committee meet with the student to present the warning card and individual student contract. After the student reads and signs the warning card (signature indicates that the student has read it), the card is placed in the student's academic file.

Contract monitored quarterly by Coordinating Committee through remainder of the student’s matriculation

If the contract is not upheld by the student, the student may be dismissed.