Background Checks, Drug Screens, and Health Records

Fall 2020 Clinical Program/Practicum Students

Information on this page is being updated. Fall 2020 Students cannot place CastleBranch orders until instructions, revised immunization requirements, forms and CastleBranch packages are complete.

The banner at the top of this page will be removed when Fall 2020 packages are ready to order.

Youngstown summer students can still order updated fingerprint/drug screen packages if required.

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 that 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 may contact to request an extension or waiver; however, these requests 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. If a clinical site that will accept the exemption/waiver request cannot be found, student will not be able to complete the course – and may not be able to continue in the program. Waiver forms are subject to acceptance/denial each semester.
  • 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. BSN Pre-licensure students order the appropriate package PRIOR to the semester clinicals begin (i.e., students beginning clinicals FA-20 will order a SP-20 CastleBranch package).

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).
  • Place your CastleBranch order prior to scheduling fingerprinting or the drug test, as the forms/instructions in your CastleBranch account must be followed. We cannot accept results from other parties.
  • Students complete FBI and OHIO fingerprinting (as most of our clinical sites are in Ohio). This can vary for some online programs whose clinical/practicum sites have different requirements; if this is applicable, separate instructions will be sent by the Clinical Compliance Coordinator). Michigan fingerprints are not accepted – fingerprints must be scanned at an Ohio location offering Live Scan electronic fingerprinting.
  • Youngstown students utilizing the Fast Fingerprints mobile unit at orientation:CastleBranch package should be ordered at the time fingerprints are scanned, or results may be returned without being associated to your account.
  • Fingerprint results can take a month or longer to be returned. If it has been a month since your prints were scanned and results have not yet been posted, contact Include your full name, Student ID, which program you are in, and the date your prints were scanned.
  • 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

  • There are multiple options for completing vaccinations/titers, etc. (refer to Resources for Obtaining Health Requirements in the FAQs and Tips section below). 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.
  • The most reliable way to provide your documents to CastleBranch is by uploading PDF files (photos become blurry). Please see Uploading Documents to CastleBranch in the FAQs and Tips section below.
  • Allow a minimum of two weeks for documents to be reviewed and processed by CastleBranch. The Clinical Coordinator for the student’s program must approve requests for expedited processing and will forward requests to the Clinical Compliance Coordinator. Documents uploaded to CastleBranch within one week or less of the deadline are not eligible for expedited processing (exceptions can be granted in such instances of a second or third vaccine of a series that is in process and cannot be completed early, etc.).
  • 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 appears 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

Basic Requirements Information

  • Document .pdfHealthcare Provider BLS

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


Additional Program Specific Requirements


  • 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


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 Help

    A summary of multiple ways for students to receive assistance answering questions about Castlebranch health and background check requirements

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

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

  • Document .pdfResources for Obtaining Health Requirements

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

  • 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