Some pre-clinical nursing school info in these trying times


Hello, dear readers! How are you–outside of the chaos stemming from COVID-19, that is? Do you have enough TP and cleaning products (that you, as a considerate citizen, will only take and use in moderation for the sake of others and, for the latter, to prevent selection for resistance)? Are you staying sane being cooped up with your family/friends/partner/roommates/self? Are you making sour faces at every person who coughs or complains of suspicious symptoms? On a more serious note, I do hope that you are all healthy, that you have all of the supplies you need, that you are finding ways to meet your social needs, and that you are able to work enough to support yourself during this period of social distancing. (Also, please keep in mind that this is allergy season as well, so many people may be experiencing symptoms unrelated to SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV.) Hopefully, enough people will commit to social distancing so that the case numbers of SARS-CoV-2 infection dwindle and (with much optimism) come to an end, or hopefully, we are able to develop a stable, safe vaccine or antiviral for prophylactic and treatment purposes. However, until either of those occurs, we are confined to our homes and a few other select areas for an indefinite stretch of time.

So, what the heck are you supposed to do with all this uncertainty and (if you are lucky enough) free time? Well, I recommend searching YouTube and Google for some creative ideas and, to better inform yourself of COVID-19 and its viral cause, conducting some research through databases like Galileo and Google Scholar. But if you clicked on this post, then you’re likely not here for those kinds of suggestions. Instead, the true purpose of this post is to tell you about the nursing preclinical requirements that you will be expected to complete before starting nursing school. Now, while these will probably vary, to some degree, between nursing schools, I believe that at least a few of the requirements will be the same regardless of the school that you will be attending, so even if you will not be attending CSU’s School of Nursing, you may still benefit from this post as a glutton for preparation.

Once you receive your acceptance to nursing school, the school should email you a list of “preclinical nursing requirements”–things you must do before being deemed healthy and prepared enough to participate in training within the clinical environment. For CSU’s nursing school, these included a physical evaluation (with a provided form–you could use no other), verification of or waiver for health insurance, a signed Statement of Continued Health Responsibility and signed Authorization and Release for Background Check and Drug Screening, proof of immunizations (for MMR, hepatitis B, chicken pox, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis), a PPD test (as well as a tuberculosis questionnaire and chest x-ray should you test positive), a flu shot, CPR certification through the American Heart Association, and an Education Records Release form. Now, this sounds like a lot–and it certainly felt like it when I received the email and completed it all over my spring break–but as long as you plan everything ahead of time and complete a little each day, you should have everything finished and uploaded before the deadline–and to nursing school you’ll go! However, I still recommend starting early because mishaps can–and do–arise. For example, I waited a week to receive my BLS card for my CPR certification only to discover that the instructor had used the wrong email–and so, I am still waiting for that requirement to be fulfilled even though I took the class well over a week ago. Additionally, as with practically every other step to/within nursing school, you will have to pay money for some of the requirements. The background screening and drug test, which cannot be taken through CSU’s police department, cost over $100 together, and the main clinical scheduling site used to store your documents for the requirements (ACEMAPP) costs $50 annually. You may also be overwhelmed by the instructions sent to you for how to sign up for, access, and upload your documentation to ACEMAPP and extraneous sites like ImmuniTrax, but I promise that none of it is really as complicated as it seems initially. You’ll get through it! Just as a quick tip: ImmuniTrax is what you upload all of your documentation to (in the respectable folders you choose from); ACEMAPP, for preclinical nursing requirements, is more so meant to show whether or not you have documentation for each requirement, as is confirmed by a green check mark. And don’t fear if you lack a scanner! You can simply take a photo of each paper–but make sure your full name and date of birth are on each paper and on each side of the paper for identification–for uploading.

Hopefully, you feel more ready and eager for continuing toward your nursing career! But even if not, you can always reach out to faculty in the nursing school or look online for more information. Now, return to your scheduled quarantine activities and stay social distance savvy, my friends. Until the next post…

Nursing students unite!