The Massachusetts Department of Public Health establishes recommended and required immunizations for Health Care Personnel, which includes student nurses. Additionally, health care facilities have practice requirements established for personnel. For examples; a recent physical exam, annual tuberculin testing and flu vaccine, negative drug screen, BCLS certification, drug testing, fingerprinting, and satisfactory criminal background checks are practice requirements which must be documented prior to the first nursing clinical course. Some clinical agencies will require additional testing.

Students are responsible for expenses incurred for meeting practice requirements.  All clinical and health requirements must be successfully met for the student to meet the course requirements. Students not meeting the clinical and health requirements will not be able to attend the clinical requirements; and, therefore, will be unsuccessfully in the nursing course. Therefore, the student will need to withdraw from the nursing program.

Proof of compliance with these practice requirements is required to enroll in and attend nursing courses with clinical components. Students out of compliance will not be allowed in class, incur absent time, be at risk for failure and may be forced to withdraw from the course. It is the responsibility of the student to keep documentation of these requirements up-to-date and entered into and stored by CastleBranch. Enrollment fee for this service is incurred by the student.

Health and Immunization Requirements*

  1. A physical examination within 1 year prior to admission to the nursing program and prior to the start of the Junior and Senior academic years (Fall) for courses with clinical/lab experience.
  2.  MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): Proof of serologic immunity of each disease. Documentation of Immunity includes: a) 2 doses of MMR on or after 1st birthday and at least a month apart; or b) laboratory evidence of immunity to measles and mumps and rubella or laboratory confirmation of each disease (consider the terms of “indeterminate” or “equivocal” immunity to be susceptible.) History of physician- diagnosed disease or documented proof of immunity is not acceptable as proof of immunity.
  3.  DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis): An initial dose of TDaP, then Td boosters every 10 years thereafter.
  4. Varicella (chicken pox): Proof of serologic immunity. Evidence of immunity to varicella includes: documentation of 2 doses of vaccine > 4 weeks apart and laboratory evidence of immunity. History of physician-diagnosed disease or documented proof of immunity is not acceptable as proof of immunity.
  5. Hepatitis B: Proof of serologic immunity (hepatitis B surface antibody test) OR if not immune, negative antigen. Course includes 3 doses hepatitis B vaccine on a 0. 1, and 6 month schedule. Test for hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) 1-2 months after the 3rd dose to document immunity. After completion of the 3rd injection of the series, a positive hepatitis titer is required. This process can take 6 -8 months to complete. This series must be completed before the start of the student’s first clinical course.
  6. An initial negative 2-step tuberculin skin test with an annual TB skin test thereafter. For students who cannot undergo skin testing (history of positive reaction of previous BCG immunization) evidence of a negative chest x-ray within five years and annual assessment of signs and symptoms from a medical provider is required. If desired, a QuantiFERON Gold blood test is acceptable.
  7. Annual seasonal flu vaccine by October 20.
  8. Proof of current valid American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers CPR certification.

Clinical facilities may stipulate additional requirements for which medical documentation must be provided. Clinical sites require proof of student health and immunization status. This information is provided to affiliation offices before clinical clearance is granted. If this information is not disclosed, the student would be dismissed from the nursing program. Students are not eligible for participation in the Nursing Program without documentation of required health and immunization requirements (see below). The Student Health Record is to be completed and submitted to Student Health Services prior to entry to the college. No record = No clearance for classes or clinical.

Massachusetts State Law requires that all Health Science students have a completed health form on file in the Student Health Office prior to the start of classes.

Please be advised a clinical agency’s policy may require additional laboratory testing of student nurses. The nursing program is not responsible for providing alternate clinical placements for students who are not granted health clearance from a clinical agency.