Background check

When you apply

Print, sign and date, and include copies of the completed UW School of Nursing Background Check, Authorization for Repeat Checks, and Dissemination of Results form with your application.
DO NOT PAY TO RUN THE BACKGROUND CHECK WHEN YOU APPLY. If admitted, you will be given a time window to pay to have your background check run.

Applicants with a positive criminal history are encouraged to submit a statement with their application explaining the circumstances. Applicants who do not fill out the background check form truthfully will not be considered for admission.

Admitted and continuing students

New nursing students will receive instructions to run a background check through a private national records verification agency chosen by the UW School of Nursing. All students pay a fee for this service.

  • Continuing undergraduate students must maintain a background check completed within the past twelve months throughout their enrollment in the School of Nursing. Continuing undergraduate students will be asked to renew their background checks annually until they graduate.
  • Continuing graduate students must maintain a background check completed within the past twelve months for clinical program and twenty-four months for non-clinical program throughout their enrollment in the School of Nursing. Continuing graduate students will be asked to renew their background checks annually (clinical program) and bi-annually (non-clinical program) until they graduate.

Please do not run this check prior to being admitted. If a check is run too early you will be asked to run the check again.

The national background check service will provide the School of Nursing with required background check information for all U.S. states. International background checks are not required for international admits or domestic admits who have resided outside the U.S. during the past three years.

Completing the background check

The School of Nursing will advise you when you should run your background check. Do NOT run the check before you have been officially notified that you have been admitted to the School.

Download and carefully follow the instructions below based on your program and current student status:

Ordering your background check

  1. Download the CastleBranch information sheet
  2. Visit the CastleBranch website at to order your background check
  3. Select your program level (undergraduate or graduate) from the dropdown menu
  4. New incoming nursing students should choose the “Background Check” option
  5. Current and continuing nursing students running a renewal should choose the “Recheck Background Check” option
  6. Follow the remaining directions on the CastleBranch website to submit your order

Important notes

  • The UW School of Nursing will have online access to your completed CastleBranch background check. If your background check raises concerns related to your participation in a nursing program, you will be contacted by a School representative.
  • The background check is REQUIRED as a nursing student. Submit the necessary information to CastleBranch in a timely fashion so that your check can be reviewed. Without it, your offer of admittance will be revoked. Background checks that show evidence of a positive criminal history are considered on a case by case basis.
  • While we cannot waive the background check fee, applicants who are accepted into a UW nursing degree program and who apply for student financial support from the School of Nursing may include the cost of the background check on their list of expenses. The School will consider this cost when awarding financial support.

Technical support

For technical support (e.g., problems with the CastleBranch website, payment issues), please contact CastleBranch customer service at 1.888.914.7279 or

General support

For general questions about this process, please contact the Student and Academic Services office at 206.543.8736 or 1.800.759.NURS or via