Nursing Student Computing Requirements

NEW - Requirement Fall 2019

NEW - Student Laptop Requirements

The School of Nursing requires all students, except for those enrolled in fully online programs, to have a laptop and use it for specific educational purposes during their program. 

Minimum Laptop Specifications

  • Intel Core i5 processor 2GHz or better.
  • 8 GB RAM minimum.  12 GB recommended.
  • 250 GB hard drive minimum.  A solid-state drive (SSD) is preferred.
  • A wireless network adapter that supports 802.11n or higher.
  • Screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher.

Required Software

  • Before you arrive on campus, you must have updated your virus protection software and operating system to its latest service pack using Windows Update.
  • PCs must have Microsoft Windows 10 Home or better.  Windows 10 Professional is recommended.
  • Genuine, U.S.-English versions of Windows Operating Systems.
    • Important: Windows S edition should not be used.
  • A reputable virus protection software (e.g. Symantec).
  • Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers.
  • Current version of Microsoft Office 2016.  Microsoft Office can be downloaded as part of your Office 365 license.
  • As a part of your education, you will be required to install various applications in order to participate in certain required and elective courses.  Examples are Java for Blackboard and Adobe Reader to access PDFs, Examplify for examinations.

Web Camera and Microphone

  • A compatible web camera and microphone are required. If the laptop has a built in webcam, a separate one is not required.
  • A headset or headphones with a microphone is recommended.

Recommended Warranty Coverage

It is highly recommended you obtain a warranty that will cover your laptop while in your program at the School of Nursing.  If an accidental damage warranty is available, it is recommended to add that as well.

What if I Want to Use a Mac?

As long as your computer meets the minimum specifications listed above, you may use it.  Software used in certain classes may require you to be able to run Windows.  Apple's Boot Camp software, which lets you run Windows on a Macintosh computer, comes with the latest version of the Macintosh operating system, but a separate copy of Windows 10 is required.

The minimum Macintosh laptop requirements are:

  • Intel Core i5 processor or better.
  • 8 GB RAM minimum. 12 GB recommended.
  • 250 GB hard drive minimum.  A solid-state drive (SSD) is preferred.
  • A wireless network adapter that supports 802.11n or higher.

Required Macintosh software:

  • OS X 10.12 or higher.  OS X 10.11 and earlier versions are NOT compatible.
  • Current version Microsoft Office for Mac.  Microsoft Office can be downloaded as part of your Office 365 license.

What if I want to use a tablet?

The only compatible tablet is the Microsoft Surface Pro, with full Windows 10 operating system installed on it.

  • Surface tablets running Windows RT, Android tablets, and iPads (all models) with iOS are NOT compatible.

Chromebooks are NOT compatible

Nursing Student Computing Requirements

All nursing students are required to meet computer literacy requirements and have a personal computer that meets the minimum specification listed below. The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) recommends a Windows/Intel laptop computer


The UMSON recommends installing the following software on Windows/Intel laptops:

  • Microsoft Office 365 (available as a no-cost download to active students)

Computer Literacy Requirements

Each student is expected to have minimum computer literacy skills upon enrollment. Each student is required to have a computer that meets the UMSON minimum hardware specifications. The UMSON has a computer lab with a moderate amount of PCs available for student use during posted hours of operation.

Computer literacy is defined as the essential knowledge needed to function independently with a computer. It is further defined as having basic knowledge about and the ability to operate the computer and software including word processing, e-mail, presentation packages e.g. Power Point, plus the ability to manage files, and use the Internet.

Students who do not feel they have minimum basic computer literacy are to seek out appropriate computer workshops or courses prior to starting their nursing program.

Wireless Connectivity at Shady Grove

Students with laptops that wish to connect to the wireless network at the Universities at Shady Grove should go to the open computer lab ED I Room 207 for answers to questions and to receive wireless network registration paperwork.