Requirements for all students enrolled in Nursing Courses.
Health Examination Policy
Because our clinical agencies require specific health information, all nursing majors are required to have a completed health examination submitted one MONTH prior to the start of the first clinical course (this is the fall semester for undergraduate nursing courses).
Therefore all undergraduate students must have a health examination in June, July or August. This is the only health examination required during the program under ordinary circumstances. Should the student take longer than three years to complete the undergraduate nursing curriculum, a second health examination will be required. The University Student Health Center does not provide this service.
The SU Nursing Department form must be used for the health examination and may be obtained from the department’s web site. The student is also required to submit a “Fit for Duty” form signed by the physician/health care provider verifying that the student is both physically and mentally fit to provide safe care to patients.
Students are supplied with detailed instructions on how to submit the completed documents to the online service known as CastleBranch.com where student health records will be confidentially maintained. Submitted materials are reviewed to verify that the student is eligible for participation in the clinical courses. Students are responsible for the annual cost of this service. No student will be allowed in a clinical agency without fulfilling this requirement.
The student may also send a copy of the completed health record to the University Health Center.
Tests for Communicable Diseases
Health care workers, including students in health care clinical experiences, are at risk for contracting a variety of communicable diseases, and are also at risk for spreading communicable diseases to vulnerable populations. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has specific recommendations for health care workers, in addition to the usual adult immunization recommendations, to better protect health care workers and the populations they serve.
The SU Department of Nursing requires its students to provide proof of certain immunizations and/or immunities prior to the start of the program to assist the Department in facilitating clinical placements which are required for program completion. Most, if not all, clinical sites require proof of the immunizations and/or immunities required by the program prior to clinical placement.
Please be advised that failure to receive and provide proof of immunizations (and/or proof of immunity) required by clinical sites may impact a student’s ability to participate in clinical experiences that are required for program completion. Please also be advised that some clinical agencies may require immunizations in addition to those required by the program.
Students with any questions about communicable diseases or immunizations should contact Dr. Debra Webster, Associate Chair, Department of Nursing
Prior to the start of their respective programs, students must submit documentation of immunity or immunization records for the following to CastleBranch.com.
Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap)
One time Tdap booster within the past 10 years. If Tdap booster was given more than 10 years ago, proof of Td within the past 10 years is required.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
Evidence of 2 doses of MMR given at least 4 weeks apart OR Laboratory evidence of immunity (Positive titers) for each of these: Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Physician Documentation of disease OR 2 doses of Varicella vaccine at least 4 weeks apart OR Laboratory evidence of immunity (positive titer) for varicella
Complete series of 3 vaccinations for Hepatitis B OR has completed the first 2 doses of the 3-dose series, and provides date for the third dose scheduled, to be completed within 8 months
Proof of a two-step tuberculosis skin test (TST) at least one week apart, done within the last 12 months or proof of two consecutive annual tuberculin skin tests (TST) completed within the last 12 months. If you have a positive result, you must attach a copy of a negative Chest X-ray report. Please also include dates of prophylaxis therapy, if completed.
Returning Student Annual Requirement
A tuberculosis screening test (PPD) is required annually. Students who submitted a previous x-ray due to a positive PPD must sign and submit a form verifying the absence of symptoms by August 15.
For students who had not finished the Hepatitis B series prior to entering the program, completion is required with verification submitted by August 15.
Annual influenza vaccination is required of all SU nursing students with submission of documentation to CastleBranch.com on or before the expiration date of the annual flu vaccine. Students who are not in compliance with this requirement will not be permitted to participate in clinical experiences. This vaccination is generally available on campus during the fall semester (at a small charge to students) or at local clinical agencies (free of charge).
Due to changing clinical site and agency regulations, Salisbury University students who accept admission to any nursing program (BS, MS, DNP) must now complete drug screen testing to participate in clinical experiences. This testing is managed through the PreCheck system. Instructions for completion are provided by the nursing department. The cost of testing is the responsibility of the student. It is highly possible that, in the near future, all students may be required to undergo additional drug screen testing for some or all clinical experiences including both routine and random drug screening. The Department of Nursing will provide information for students as it becomes available. Students who do not complete this requirement will be unable to remain in their respective programs.
Waiver of Receipt of Department of Nursing Required Immunization(s)
If a student is unable to receive required immunization(s) because of a medical contraindication, they must sign a Waiver of Receipt of Department of Nursing Required Immunization(s) form prior to each academic year for which they are not able to fulfill the requirement. The Waiver of Receipt of Required Immunizations must be signed by a licensed healthcare provider.
Students Responsibilities for Health Maintenance
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN HEALTH STATUS
Students must report any significant change in their health status that impacts their ability to meet the SU Nursing Program technical standards or be in compliance with the health requirements outlined on the “Fit for Duty” form. By definition, any situation that curtails clinical performance activities for more than one clinical absence or creates a pattern of absences (e.g. every other week), and/or involves a hospitalization/medical observation will be considered a “Significant Change in Health Status”.
The following are common examples (not an exhaustive list) of changes in health status: diagnosis of mononucleosis or other infectious/communicable illnesses/diseases, disabling headache lasting more than one clinical week, fractures or other injuries affecting physical ability, hospitalizations, behavioral health issues or other emergency events.
A variety of factors, including length of time (more than one clinical absence or a pattern of absences), hospitalization/medical observation, clinical agency policies, and adherence to the usual standard of medical care, will enter into the determination of what kind of documentation is required before a student can return to clinical experiences.
- The Length of Absence from Clinical. If the resolution of the health problem requires more than one clinical absence, the Change of Health status will be deemed significant, and will require documentation and signature by a provider stating that the student is fit for duty.
- Hospitalization/medical observation will be considered a significant change in health status and will require documentation and signature by a provider stating that the student is fit for duty.
- Compliance with Clinical Agency Policies. SU Nursing students and faculty must meet the health requirements of our clinical affiliates. If a student has had a significant change in health status as determined above, documentation and signature by a provider stating that the student is fit for duty will be required.
- Adherence to the usual Standard of Care. If medical, psychological, and other types of interventions are ordinarily part of care, [e.g., rest, limitation of weight-bearing, use of casts/boots, crutches, restrictions on lifting, medications that alter cognition, etc.], students may not return to clinical until they provide documentation and signature from a provider stating that the student is fit for duty.
Clinical instructors will assess the situation regarding student clinical participation. The instructor, in consultation with the Course Coordinator and the Associate Chair of the SU Department of Nursing, will make the decision as to whether the student has had a “Significant Change in Health Status and the kind of documentation needed prior to returning to clinical.
The student must be aware that:
- Suspected changes in health status must be reported to clinical instructors.
- Clinical agency policies regarding health requirements may vary widely from location to location and by the population served e.g. policies for working with pregnant women, infants, and children are generally stricter
- After a “Significant Change in Health Status”, a new, updated “Fit for Duty” form must be completed and signed by a licensed health care provider indicating that the student is safe to return to clinical experiences.
- Clearance to return to clinical experiences will not be granted until all medical documents have been uploaded and accepted by the Immunization Tracker system.