Memo 22: Student Health Policy
Every student enrolled in the UW School of Nursing program (BSN, ABSN, DNP, PhD, GCPAPN) must meet School of Nursing immunization requirements prior to the start of the program and throughout enrollment.
Students receive a color vision test at the beginning of the program. Students who do not pass the color vision screening will not be allowed to perform urine dipstick testing while at clinical placement sites. Students in the Infant Mental Health Graduate Certificate Program are exempted from the color vision requirement.
Nursing students commonly are at risk for exposure to and possible transmission of vaccine-preventable communicable diseases because of their contact with patients or infective material from patients. Maintenance of immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases through the Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) is therefore an essential requirement of all students. The HSIP follows recommendations for health care workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA/DOSH occupational health mandates.
Nursing students will NOT be permitted to enter a clinical site unless documentation of compliance with all requirements, including annual tuberculosis screening and influenza vaccine, have been confirmed by the HSIP with the School of Nursing.
Nursing students must comply with requirements for the following: measles (rubeola), mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B, tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, varicella (chicken pox), influenza vaccine, and tuberculosis screening (PPD skin testing, or symptom review for those not being tested).
Measles Immunity Requirement
ALL students entering the University of Washington must provide proof of immunity to measles prior to registration. However, Health Sciences (including School of Nursing) students are exempt from this mandate.
Tuberculosis screening must be completed annually throughout the student’s program of study.
Students must get the influenza vaccine annually throughout the student’s program of study.
The information contained in this document is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on immunizations, TB testing requirements, and details about how to satisfy each requirement, please visit the HSIP website: https://depts.washington.edu/chsweb/hsi.
Questions about immunization requirements may be referred to the HSIP at 206.616.9074 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Account Holds
Students who do not meet the immunizations prerequisites and who do not meet the annual PPD and influenza vaccine compliance requirements will have a hold placed on their student account by the Health Sciences Immunizations Program.
The School of Nursing does not accept waivers for the influenza vaccine UNLESS you have a medical contraindication to receiving it, you will need to submit an annual statement from a provider explaining the need for a medical waiver. You must submit the Influenza Letter for Provider form. Documentation of flu vaccine received from outside providers, or waiver letters, should be scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
However, please note that some clinical agencies will not accept students who have not received the flu vaccine regardless of the reason for non-immunization.
School of Nursing students (except MS) pay a standard annual Health Fee that will appear on tuition billing statements the first or second quarter of enrollment and will recur each year as you are enrolled in the program. There are NO EXCEPTIONS or REFUNDS for this fee.
The Health Fee covers the following services provided by the Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) as listed below:
- Receipt, review, and reporting on your compliance status to your program on a regular basis.
- Follow up and counseling (but not treatment) for positive PPD conversion.
- Coverage for counseling, testing, and treatment for any Blood Borne Pathogen (BBP) exposure after your insurance is billed.
The Health Fee does NOT cover immunizations and proof of immunity required by individual clinical sites or for entry into the program, including but not limited to:
- TB screening
- Flu vaccination
- Varicella titer
- Hepatitis B titer
Students have to meet these requirements and secure documentation thereof at their own expense. A student may choose to obtain any of the required immunizations from their current health care provider. In this case, students must provide all documentation to the HSIP, obtain clearance through the HSIP program staff, and pay the health fee.
Policy on Infection Control Procedures for Health Care Providers Infected with HBV/HIV/HCV
In compliance with University of Washington Infection Control Procedures regarding blood-borne disease, the School of Nursing supports voluntary reporting of HIV/HBV/HCV status. As part of their professional responsibility and accountability, the School encourages all students to be aware of their risk status for HBV/HIV/HCV. If they are at risk for these diseases, they are encouraged to seek testing and to notify the School of Nursing of their status so as not to place patients in a position of risk. In addition to following standard precautions, it is recommended that students adhere to CDC guidelines which state that students with a known blood-borne pathogen are expected to:
- Double-glove during all procedures involving the possibility of blood-borne exposure
- Refrain from all direct patient care and the handling of patient care equipment used in invasive procedures if the student has exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis
- Refrain from direct participation in exposure-prone procedures, which at the minimum include the following:
- Digital palpation of a needle tip in a body cavity
- Simultaneous presence of the student’s fingers and a needle or other sharp instrument or object in a poorly visualized or highly confined anatomic site
If an infected student must engage in such activities, each situation should be reviewed and specific practice protocol developed. All students are taught standard precautions as part of their basic nursing curriculum. Following these policies is essential for the protection of the care provider and the patient, and minimizes risk to either party.
Some clinical sites require students to have health insurance. Students without health insurance will not be placed at such sites. All Health Sciences students are STRONGLY ADVISED to have personal health insurance, or to join a health care plan, to cover the expenses of their health care, treatments in case of an injury, and/or care for a catastrophic illness or serious chronic condition within or outside the clinical setting.
Clinical Informatics (CIPCT) Students
Since the CIPCT program is strictly online, students in this program are exempted from the annual health fee and immunizations requirements EXCEPT the measles immunity requirement. CIPCT students must comply with the University measles requirement.
Revised January 2018