Background Checks, Drug Screens, and Health Records

Clinical Program/Practicum Students

Welcome to Mercy College of Ohio!

Please bookmark this page to help you locate important information needed for your journey as a Mercy College clinical/practicum student. Here you will find answers to your questions regarding your background check, fingerprinting, drug test and health records, as well as other helpful information.

Step #1: Familiarize Yourself with the Requirements

Once you have been officially accepted into a clinical program (or a practicum with health records and background check requirements):

  • Review the information regarding prerequisites which must be completed prior to participation in the clinical/practicum.
  • Begin collecting your medical records to determine what must be completed (review the Basic Requirements Information below).
  • Documentation for health records includes various vaccination requirements. Students unable to receive vaccinations due to temporary or permanent circumstances should refer to Students Unable to Receive Vaccines under the FAQs and Tips section below. Requests for extensions or waivers are not automatic, require additional documentation, and should be requested a minimum of two weeks prior to the due date to allow time for processing.
  • Schedule an appointment with your physician if you have not had a physical within the past twelve months. The Mercy College Physical form is provided for your convenience but does not need to be used if a valid physical has already been completed within the acceptable timeframe.
  • Print the Student Checklist to help you stay organized.
  • Review the Program Codes and Deadlines for the appropriate Academic Year to locate your program code and deadline and write it on your checklist. Make sure you choose the correct location (Toledo or Youngstown) and the correct package code for the program and semester you are starting.

Step #2: Place the CastleBranch Order

Use the custom ordering portal (see link below) to place an order with CastleBranch. This online account will be the depository for your clinical documentation, and the CastleBranch reviewers will ensure that the information you have provided meets your program's requirements.

Answers to frequently asked questions about placing your order can be found here:

  • You will need your EMPOWER Student ID number when placing your order.
  • Be prepared with a credit card/payment method to pay CastleBranch (payment includes associated fees for fingerprinting/background check and/or drug test if they are included in your package).
  • Do not schedule the fingerprinting or the drug test until after placing your CastleBranch order. The fingerprinting and drug test forms/instructions in your CastleBranch account must be followed. We cannot accept results from other parties.
  • ATTENTION Youngstown students: if fingerprints are scanned at a Fast Fingerprints mobile unit during orientation and your CastleBranch account is not ordered within 72 hours, it is possible that your results could be returned with nowhere for them to be uploaded. Contact after your CastleBranch order is placed to check on your results.
  • FOR CURRENT STUDENTS who already have a CastleBranch account: some agencies may require current fingerprinting and drug test results from students prior to clinical placement at that site. If updated results are required, students will be notified by a program administrator that an updated fingerprint/drug test package must be ordered. These special package codes are designated with “fpdt” - for instance, MW05fpdt is the fingerprint/drug test package code for the Youngstown ASN Evening and Weekend program.
  • Go to the custom ordering portal to proceed.
access the CastleBranch custom ordering portal

Step #3 Complete the Components of your CastleBranch Account

In addition to the detailed documents available under the Basic Requirements Information section below, your CastleBranch account includes a comprehensive video library of frequently asked help topics (from your CastleBranch account, click on “Need Help?” and select Video FAQ).

There are four components of your CastleBranch account - all must remain compliant while you are in the clinical program/practicum to maintain eligibility for clinical participation.

  • Clinical health records (the documents you must provide for CastleBranch to review)
  • Drug test (results will be automatically uploaded to your account after you submit for the test and it is processed)
  • Fingerprinting (normal processing time is a month; results are sometimes returned sooner) The fingerprint reports will be uploaded to your account when received. It is imperative that you schedule your fingerprinting in a timely manner to allow for adequate processing time. In your CastleBranch account:
    • Mark that you’ve downloaded the fingerprint registration form
    • Enter the date your fingerprints were scanned
  • Background check (this report will process automatically after you place your order; it will be uploaded to your account when complete)

Other Tips

  • If you do not have a local physician – or if your physician is unable to complete all your vaccinations/titers, etc., you may have to research alternative sources. Currently, some physician offices and other locations are experiencing shortages of the TB skin test. If you need the initial TB 2-step, TB renewal, or TB blood test, make sure you confirm availability and schedule in advance, so you remain compliant in CastleBranch (refer to Resources for Obtaining Health Requirements in the FAQs and Tips section below).
  • The most reliable way to provide your documents to CastleBranch is by uploading PDF files. Please see Uploading Documents to CastleBranch in the FAQs and Tips section below.
  • To verify your eligibility to attend clinicals, your professor may ask you to provide a To-Do List (TDL) Summary. Please review Printing the CastleBranch To-Do List (TDL) Summary and Uploading Clinical Verification to Canvas - TDL Summary under the FAQs and Tips section below.
  • “Compliant” is a temporary status; you may still have additional vaccines to complete if you are in a series, and some requirements (BLS/CPR certification, TB, influenza, etc.) are subject to renewal. If your professor indicates that you are not complete for the semester, you likely have one or more items which will become due during the semester. The TDL Summary will be updated each time you submit new documentation and the “Compliant Until” date will update to the next requirement due date.
  • You will receive email reminders from CastleBranch before renewal items are due; the space to upload renewal documents will not appear until 21 days before the current document expires.

Returning Students

Students who return/are readmitted to a clinical program after an absence follow Policy 530 Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen to determine what steps must be taken to ensure compliance prior to clinical placement. Please refer to Students Returning to Clinicals under the FAQs and Tips section below.

If you need further assistance after reviewing these materials, please send your questions to Include your full name, your EMPOWER Student ID, and the program in which you are enrolled.

Related Resources

  • Document .pdfStudent Checklist

    Complete this checklist of general requirements for all clinical students

  • Document .pdfCastleBranch Codes and Program Deadlines (Fall 2019 - Summer 2020)

    A list of programs and their corresponding codes and deadlines in CastleBranch

  • Document .pdfHealth Requirements Overview by Program

    Clinical health records and requirements for students per program


Basic Requirements Information

  • Document .pdfBackground Check and Fingerprinting

    Requirements for fingerprinting and background checks for clinical students

  • Document .pdfDrug Test Requirement

    Information on completing the drug test requirements for clinicals.

  • Document .pdfHealthcare Provider BLS

    Health records requirements per the American Heart Association for healthcare provider Basic Life Support (BLS)

  • Document .pdfHepatitis B

    Documentation information for Hepatitis B health records requirements

  • Document .pdfInfluenza

    Documentation information for proof of influenza vaccination

  • Document .pdfMMR

    Health records documentation information for MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccination

  • Document .pdfTDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis)

    Documentation information for TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) vaccination requirements

  • Document .pdfTuberculosis (TB)

    Documentation information for tuberculosis requirements

  • Document .pdfVaricella

    Documentation information for varicella (chickenpox) vaccination requirements


Additional Program Specific Requirements

  • Document .pdfHeartsaver Certification - Community Health Worker Students Only

    Heartsaver CPR AED Requirements for Community Health Worker Students Only

  • Document .pdfProfessional Licensure - Medical Imaging Students Only

    Health records requirements and professional licensure verification for Medical Imaging students

  • Document .pdfState RAD Licensure - Medical Imaging Students Only

    Health records requirements for current state radiologic licensure for medical imaging students

  • Document .pdfState RN Licensure - Master of Science in Nursing Students Only

    Health records requirements for current state RN licensure, relative to the Master of Science in Nursing program



  • Document .pdfHealth Survey

    Health survey to be completed by current students

  • Document .pdfPhysical Examination

    This physical examination form must be filled out by Physician or Primary Care Practitioner (PCP)

  • Document .pdfTuberculosis (TB) Symptoms Review

    This document is a TB checklist only for use with Chest X-ray report

  • Document .pdfTuberculosis (TB) 2-step and TB Renewal

    Complete this form for two-step and one-step TB vaccination renewal

  • Document .pdfStudent Acknowledgement

    The health programs at Mercy College of Ohio require you to complete 530-B Student Acknowledgment.

  • Document .pdfStudent Consent

    Complete this form to consent to the release of criminal background check and drug screen results relevant to the program requirements

  • Document .pdfStudent Disclosure

    Students of the Mercy College of Ohio health programs are required to disclose any convictions, charges, and/or probation/diversion.


FAQs and Tips

  • Document .pdfAutomatic Bars for Obtaining Nursing License Ohio Board of Nursing (PDF)

    A list of automatic bars for obtaining a nursing license in Ohio, relative to criminal background

  • Document .pdfCastleBranch Package Prices

    A list of pricing for CastleBranch services, including fingerprinting, drug screens, and background checks

  • Document .pdfPrinting the CastleBranch To-Do List (TDL) Summary

    Step-by-step instructions for printing a To-Do list on CastleBranch

  • Document .pdfStudents Returning to Clinicals

    Expectations, requirements, and instructions for students returning to clinicals

  • Document .pdfUploading Documents to CastleBranch

    Instructions on how to upload documents to CastleBranch

  • Document .pdfUploading Clinical Verification to Canvas - TDL Summary

    Instructions on how to upload To-Do List (TDL) Summary to Canvas for clinical verification

  • Document .pdfInstructions for Scanning to USB from MFD - Mercy College Toledo

    Toledo campus document with photos and instructions for how to scan to a USB

  • Document .pdfResources for Obtaining Health Requirements

    Tips on Where to go for Physical, TB Test, Titers and Vaccinations