James Madison University

Master of Science in Nursing Program


Graduate Nursing Health Related Policies

Practicum and Residency courses involve real people and health care situations. Students are in contact with persons of all ages in diverse settings with potential exposure to many kinds of illness. This puts you at potential risk. You can also be a risk to others, including coworkers and clients. For your protection and that of your coworkers and clients, the School of Nursing has established the following policies.

Health Center Requirements:


Nursing students are required to be in compliance with all health requirements (including the MMR-II second measles vaccine) as outlined in the JMU Health Center policy. See the University Student Handbook for further details.

Health Record and Evaluation:


Beginning in September 2015, background checks are to be performed by Truescreen. Truescreen will contact students via email with instructions on how to create an account for criminal background check, drug screening and immunizations.  This will need to be completed by the month prior to your first practicum.

Students who are enrolled in the program prior to September 2015 will continue using Certified Background Check, and must request a background check through www.CertifiedBackground.com.

Hepatitis B Vaccine:


Nursing students are at risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis and HIV and are required to have the Hepatitis B vaccine and titer or sign a declination statement before entering Masters level program. The Hepatitis B vaccine series must be completed prior to enrollment in the Practicum and Residency courses. The series involves three injections over a 6-month period; the second injection follows 1 month after the first, with the third 5 months later. Students are also required to receive the Hepatitis B titer 1-6 months after the completion of the vaccine series. The series and titer can be received at a place of your choice, but is available through the JMU Health Center. There must be documentation of one of the following provided through Truescreen:  3 vaccinations; positive antibody titer (lab report required); or a declination waiver. Students may not begin practicum or residency courses until verification has been received or a declination has been signed.

TB Testing:


Nursing students are required to have a 2-Step TB skin test (PPD-S) prior to beginning the Practicum or Residency courses. If the skin test is positive, a chest x-ray and follow up are required. Testing can occur wherever you choose, but is available at the JMU Student Health Center. There must be documentation of one of the following provided through Certified Background Check:  2-step TB skin test (1-3 weeks apart); QuantiFERON Gold Blood Test (lab report required); past 2-step test PLUS all subsequent annuals; if positive results, provide a clear chest X-Ray (lab report required). A PPD Symptom Checklist (available for download from Truescreen) must be submitted if the student has a history of a positive PPD. Students will not be allowed to begin practicum or residency courses until verification of testing and current status has been received.

Immunity for Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) and Varicella


Students are required to provide evidence of immunity for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and varicella. There must be documentation of one of the following provided through Truescreen:  2 vaccinations; or positive antibody titers for all 3 components (lab reports required); or medically documented history of disease.

Immunity for Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap)


Students are required to provide evidence of immunity for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap). There must be documentation of a Tdap booster within the past 10 years provided through Truescreen.

Influenza or Declination Waiver


There must be documentation of a flu shot administered during the current flu season OR a declination waiver provided through Truescreen.

Drug Testing:


Students may be required to have a drug test at any point during the nursing program if required by a clinical agency or if requested by a faculty member.

Personal Health Insurance:


Students are responsible for all health care costs including any that might result from experiences that are a part of the nursing program, including experiences in clinical agencies. Students are expected to carry personal health insurance through the University student plan if not otherwise covered (this is different than liability insurance). Documentation of coverage must be provided to the school no later than August 1 prior to beginning Practicum or Residency courses.

Maintenance of Health-Related Records:


It is essential that you maintain personal copies of the numerous health related records that you provide to the school of nursing (i.e. CPR certification, Hepatitis B vaccine, TB testing, etc.). You will need them for other purposes, including the professional portfolio you will create in the program, and are responsible for retaining copies.