In this paper we report on analysis toward identifying design requirements for an Adaptive Robotic Nursing Assistant (ARNA). Specifically, the paper focuses on application requirements for ARNA, envisioned as a mobile assistive robot that can navigate hospital environments to perform chores in roles such as patient sitter and patient walker. The role of a sitter is primarily related to patient observation from a distance, and fetching objects at the patient’s request, while a walker provides physical assistance for ambulation and rehabilitation. The robot will be expected to not only understand nurse and patient intent but also close the decision loop by automating several routine tasks. As a result, the robot will be equipped with sensors such as distributed pressure sensitive skins, 3D range sensors, and so on. Modular sensor and actuator hardware configured in the form of several multi-degree-of-freedom manipulators, and a mobile base are expected to be deployed in reconfigurable platforms for physical assistance tasks. Furthermore, adaptive human-machine interfaces are expected to play a key role, as they directly impact the ability of robots to assist nurses in a dynamic and unstructured environment. This paper discusses required tasks for the ARNA robot, as well as sensors and software infrastructure to carry out those tasks in the aspects of technical resource availability, gaps, and needed experimental studies.