Common Clinical Placement Requirements Among Cooperating Agencies

Common Clinical Placement Requirements Among Cooperating Agencies

Health Requirements 

Students in the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing are required to adhere to certain health maintenance procedures in compliance with standards prescribed by affiliating clinical agencies and The Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 15C, entitled Immunization of college health science students. Students may use the services of their own family health care providers or the University Health Services. The policies are intended to protect the health and well-being of the client as well as the nursing student engaged in clinical practice. The health maintenance plan is as follows: 

All students need to set up an account with CastleBranch after admission to the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing. You will be responsible for uploading evidence of your immunizations and required documents into the self-service system before your first clinical. Certified Background Check will also perform a national background check on all students, which is necessary before entering clinical placements. 

All students must carry health insurance at all times while registered as a student. 

CPR Requirement 

American Heart Association Course: BLS for the Healthcare Provider. This is the only course accepted by all of our affiliating agencies. Online courses are not acceptable. 

Professional Liability Insurance 

Contact NSO. (Upload the one-page “Certificate of Insurance” for your file.) 

Students are required to acquire and submit proof of medical malpractice insurance before entering courses with a clinical component. Students are also responsible for ensuring that a copy of the one-page certificate of insurance is on file at least three weeks prior to the start of the semester. Students are not allowed to participate in clinical experiences until this documentation is on file. Students will upload this insurance certification to their account. 

Annual Update 

CastleBranch will send an email reminder for annual updates at least two weeks prior to their due date. 

Healthcare agencies will not allow students to begin clinical experiences until this information has been received. Timely submission will prevent a student’s clinical status from being in jeopardy. 

Students are required to notify the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing of any significant change in their health status that may affect clinical experiences. Examples include serious illness, accidents, injuries, or surgery which would require health care provider clearance prior to returning to the clinical setting. Students with significant health changes must provide documentation of clearance from their provider to return to clinical activities. The provider clearance note must specify any limitations. 

NOTE: It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the University Health Services (UHS) or their private health care provider in a timely fashion in order to comply with the above policies. When applicable, the College of Nursing will publicize the availability of special clinics set up by UHS to assist with required immunizations or updates. 


A delay in returning the necessary documentation will prevent a student from attending clinical experiences. 

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI/SORI) Checks and Fingerprinting 

CORI ([Massachusetts] Criminal Offender Records Index) and SORI ([National] Sex Offender Records Index) checks are required by most clinical agencies and will be completed on all students and faculty once they are admitted to the program and yearly thereafter. Progression and clinical placements in the nursing program may be contingent upon a satisfactory CORI/SORI investigation. Please review the website for more details on CORI checks. 

Note: Some clinical agencies may require a National Background Check and Fingerprinting; this process will be explained as necessary. 

Undergraduate Elaine Marieb College of Nursing Credentialing Policy 

As part of your professional role, nursing students are required to have very specific credentials in order to be present in hospitals, clinics, and community settings where we interact with the public. These are very similar, if not identical, to the requirements that you will have soon with an employer in the health care industry. Part of your education in nursing is learning to be prompt and meticulous about ensuring that all your documentation is on time and kept current to attend clinical. Please read this policy carefully to the end. 

It is the student’s responsibility to maintain their current credentials that may include CPR, a criminal background check, fingerprinting, immunizations, special training, etc. It is recommended that you begin a file with copies of all your documents, so you always have them at the ready for clinical agencies and employers. 

  1. At the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, we use an external company that assists us in assuring clinical agencies that our students are credentialed for clinical. CastleBranch (CB) is the name of the company that securely maintains documents for the College, and this is where you must submit your materials for credentialing. 
  2. Before you come to nursing school, you may begin the credentialing process by taking an American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers CPR class, seeing your healthcare provider, undergoing TB testing, and getting immunized. 
  3. When you enroll, you will be directed by email to register with CastleBranch. 
  4. As soon as you register with CastleBranch, you will get an email to begin uploading your documents into their secure site. You must have everything uploaded into CastleBranch by:
    • Accelerated students - July 1 for fall clinicals, November 1 for spring clinicals and March 1 for summer clinicals. 
    • Nursing majors - May 1 for fall clinicals and November 1 for spring clinicals. 
    • All students- Between August 1-15th each year, you must upload modules to Centralized Clinical Placements at 
    • All students – October 1 for flu immunization verification. 
    • You may from time to time receive an email from Castle Branch informing you that something has expired, and these must be attended to immediately. Never ignore reminders from CastleBranch, as it is likely you have a new requirement that has triggered a reminder email. 
  5. Anything marked INCOMPLETE in your CastleBranch account must be completed before you go to clinical. Anything marked REJECTED is incorrect documentation and the CastleBranch site will direct you how to correct the error. Anything marked OVERDUE must be completed immediately. 
  6. Students must attend to this in the term prior to a clinical course to have everything completed in a timely way and should not leave for vacation without ensuring that everything is complete. Some components must be completed in Massachusetts. 
  7. Each term, on the first day of class in any clinical course and before you go to the clinical site, we will check to make sure you have completed all the requirements for students on the CastleBranch site. 
  8. You may not attend clinical and will be sent home if you are not properly credentialed. 
  9. At that point, a better use of your time will be going to complete whatever you failed to complete, but you will be missing precious learning time in clinical, and it will be recorded as a 0.5 deduction in your clinical evaluation in the area of unprofessional behavior. This will also be an unexcused clinical absence and cannot be made up, potentially impacting your ability to be successful in the course. 

If you have questions or trouble uploading documents, please contact the Database Administrator, jheim [at] umass [dot] edu (Jennifer Heim) at the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing,  phone # 413-545- 5049. 

University Health Services (UHS) collects state required immunization data through their New Student Immunization Office which is required for all UMASS students and a separate process.  

 Please also follow any instructions you receive from UHS 

Adopted by Faculty Assembly December 2016, edits approved 5/17, 5/18 

Sue Cassidy