SONHP Health Requirements Overview

To protect the health of all USF community members and the patients that you serve, USF and our clinical partners require students to fulfill certain health requirements. The School of Nursing and Health Professions students are expected to submit their health requirement records to the School of Nursing and Health Professions (as directed), not Health Promotion Services.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) has contracted with CastleBranch for the collection and processing of all health requirement documentation, background checks, and drug testing. Students must be cleared by SONHP via CastleBranch prior to entering the program and for most programs, this includes clearance for each clinical setting (see program requirements below). Individual requirements cannot expire during the semester or you will not be cleared for that term.

For the BSN, MSN, DNP, and PsyD programs, the SONHP requires students to complete a background check and drug test upon admission. Additional health requirements may be necessary depending on the program in which you are enrolled.

Please find your program below to see what requirements pertain to you and how to set up your CastleBranch accounts:

The health requirements for the SONHP will fulfill the requirements of USF Health Promotion Services. You will only need to submit the documentation from this web page directly to the SONHP.

Only Undergraduate Health Insurance information will be handled through Health Promotion Services at a clinic close to campus.


For clinical-based nursing programs, the USF health, drug, and background requirements occur each semester of enrollment and are required to be completed in order to be eligible to register for the following semester. The requirements are due by the deadlines listed in the table below and must be completed in order for a student to register.

Term Deadline Requirement
Fall August 1 All updates
Fall October 1 Flu vaccine only
Spring December 15 All updates
Summer May 1 All updates

For clinical-based nursing programs, the USF health, drug, and background requirements occur each semester of enrollment and are required to be completed in order to be eligible to register for the following semester. The requirements are due by the deadlines listed in the table below and must be completed in order for a student to register. For clinical-based Health Professions programs, such as the PsyD program, the USF health, drug, and background requirements are required to be eligible for enrollment in the first semester of the program. The final deadline for the receipt of the completed requirements for clinical-based Health Professions programs is August 1st. All incoming students are strongly encouraged to complete these early in the summer to avoid any unnecessary delays or barriers to matriculation. 

For all clinical-based program students (Nursing and Health Professions), additional background and health prerequisites may also be required by individual clinical placement sites, and these must be completed by the site’s deadlines and fully complied with in order to initiate each required clinical training placement. All drug screens for external sites are required to be completed by the deadline stipulated by the site and this is often within 30 days of the due date.

Program Requirements

For some programs, the School of Nursing and Health Professions requires students to complete a background check and drug test upon admission. Additional health requirements may be necessary depending on which program you are enrolled in. Please find your program below to see what requirements pertain to you.

Nursing Programs

For clinical-based programs including Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master's Entry Master of Science in Nursing option (ME-MSN), Master of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses (RN-MSN), DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP FNP) and DNP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP PMHNP) degree and post-graduate certificate programs, please review your CastleBranch and health requirements.

Kaiser Nurse Scholar Academy Students (RN-MSN and DNP)

KPNSA-sponsored students can make the determination if they are eligible and submit their health requirements information via the KPNSA Sponsored Graduate Nursing Student Health Requirement Form.

Health Professions Programs

For health profession programs including Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI), and Clinical Psychology (PsyD) programs please review your CastleBranch requirements.

Nursing Program Health Requirements Overview

Below are the different health requirements required by nursing clinical-based programs as well as their forms and waivers. Waivers are only to be filled out by a healthcare provider for certain cases. Please read the overviews to see if a form is needed for you.

  1. Meningococcal Vaccine: This is the only optional requirement. If you have received the vaccine, please upload proof of immunization. If not, you must still click on the Meningococcal requirement in your to‐do list and indicate that you are choosing not to obtain the Meningococcal immunization.
  2. Physical: The physical must be administered within six (6) months of your entrance into the program. There is no USF‐specific form for the physical. You simply need a note from your doctor (signed, dated, on letterhead and/or with office stamp) stating that you (full name) were given a physical on (date) and are cleared to begin your nursing studies.
  3. Tdap Booster: Documentation must specify that the Tdap (Combined Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) vaccine was administered, and on what date. The Tdap booster must be renewed every ten (10) years.
  4. Tdap booster - Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed)
  5. Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella: Titers (IgG), not proof of vaccination, are required for measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and hepatitis B. Titers are blood results that test for the presence of antibodies against diseases. When we have vaccinations our immune system does not always convert the vaccination into immunity against that particular disease. Positive titer tests ensure that our body has actually converted the vaccination into immunity. This is important to ensure the continued health of our nursing students in the clinical setting and helps prevent the spread of diseases to the patients you serve. If a titer result is negative or equivocal, you'll need to get either a booster or a new vaccination series (see what the doctor recommends). You should upload your negative titer to CastleBranch, and they will create new requirements for the subsequent necessary vaccine(s). Once the re‐vaccination is done, you should wait one month and then get a new titer. As long as you follow this process, you will be cleared.
  6. Varicella - Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed
  7. Mumps - Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed)
  8. Rubella - Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed)
  9. Measles - Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed)
  10. Hepatitis B - Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed)
  11. Tuberculosis Test: A 2‐step PPD or QuantiFERON blood test* is needed. A 2‐step PPD test is when you have your 1st PPD skin test placed and read two (2) days later. Then, you have a second PPD skin test placed and read two (2) days later. This process is completed within a two (2) week period. The purpose is to ensure that you do not have a false negative. The timing is critical because more than two (2) weeks between tests could results in a false positive due to the repeated exposure to the test. The results of both tests must be uploaded as a single PDF.

    *Please note that skin tests must be a minimum of 7 days apart, but no more than 3 weeks between. If you have a history of positive PPD, you must submit both a clear chest x‐ray and a TB Symptom Review form, signed by a healthcare professional; combine both documents into a single PDF and upload.

  12. Tuberculosis Symptom Review Form
  13. CPR Certification: CPR certification must be Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers certification through the American Heart Association. No other trainings will be accepted. You must sign your certification card and then scan both the front and back, and upload that to CastleBranch.
  14. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine: Official documentation of the seasonal influenza vaccine (a.k.a. the flu shot) must contain your name and the date and location the vaccine was administered. *Please note: You must receive the flu shot on a yearly basis; the deadline for each subsequent year will be October 1 (the deadline for the influenza vaccine is set a bit later than other requirements due to seasonal availability).
  15. Influenza Verification Form
  16. Influenza Waiver for Medical Purposes (if needed)

Nursing Drug Screen Requirement:

A negative drug screening result is required to matriculate and remain in the nursing degree programs. Please review the USF Student Code of Conduct as well as the USF Alcohol and Drug policies, which includes the Marijuana Policy. As USF is required to follow federal policy, marijuana use remains prohibited on campus and at university-sponsored events. Thus, students who test positive for marijuana will be considered to have a positive drug test. If a positive drug test result is produced during the SONHP drug screening requirement, the following steps are required prior to approval to matriculate (register and start courses):

  1. Interview with the Associate Dean to discuss circumstances, and implications for matriculation, placement, and eligibility for licensure;
  2. Repeat the urine screen after a failed one, to provide a negative result prior to starting the program; and
  3. Depending on drug screening result(s), the Associate Dean may request medical leave or other actions short of dismissal.

Nursing Background Check:

A criminal/legal background may preclude students from obtaining clinical placement sites. A felony conviction may prevent both placement and the ability to obtain licensure. Applicants and students with a history of felony conviction are advised to seek legal consultation regarding these issues to discuss eligibility for licensure and practice. It is essential to discuss legal background histories before the application process in order to obtain guidance on site and licensure eligibility.