Hospitals, clinical training sites, and state licensing boards may request a criminal background check.
University of Maryland School of Nursing Notification Regarding Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing
The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) does not require a criminal background check or drug testing for admission. In many cases, however, UMSON’s academic requirements involve placement at one or more off-campus training sites, such as hospitals and other institutional settings. These off-campus clinical sites routinely require students to undergo and pass a background check and, in some cases, drug testing. This notice is to make you aware of the requirements.
More and more hospitals and other clinical training sites are requiring criminal background checks and drug tests to protect the safety of patients and other persons at these facilities, and to ensure the confidentiality of patient information. State licensing boards, including the Maryland Board of Nursing, which require nurses to be licensed in a state before they can practice, now require a criminal background check prior to granting a license. Therefore, all nursing students seeking to enroll in a clinical course or seeking a license will likely have to undergo a criminal background check and possibly drug testing. Current laws generally permit a licensing board or agency to revoke, suspend, or deny a license, or to reprimand a licensee who is convicted or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or certain specified crimes.
Each training site sets its own standards for a background check and drug testing and typically conditions placement at the site on passing the check. You may also be asked by the training site to pay the cost of the background check and drug testing. You may have to complete more than one criminal background check and drug test during the course of your program, depending on the number of sites at which you are placed and the requirements of each site.
If you fail a site’s criminal background check or drug test, you may be unable to complete your course requirements. It is important for you consider this before you enroll. The School has no obligation to refund your tuition or fees, or to accommodate you in the event that you fail a background check or a drug test and, as a result, are unable to complete your course requirements or are denied a license to practice nursing.
You are responsible for maintaining your background check information. UMSON does not retain background check reports or provide clinical training sites with a copy of your background check information.
Many Maryland hospitals accept the results of a background check conducted by Castle Branch, a commercial firm. However, each clinical site sets its own policy and determines the approved method of obtaining a background check. For help with Castle Branch, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMSON does not review or retain results of a criminal background check or drug screen. Results are released to clinical sites for their assessment for placement. Background checks from other agencies are not accepted for placement. Students must contact Castle Branch for copies of results or questions regarding checks.
Graduates may request a degree verification. The National Student Clearance House provides degree certification for non-graduates, including employers. Employers may contact the clearing house directly.
Course descriptions from 2010 forward are available on the Student UseR Friendly System (SURFS). For years prior to 2010, please download the appropriate School of Nursing Course Catalog from the links below.
- School of Nursing Catalog 1926-1934
- School of Nursing Catalog 1935-1951
- School of Nursing Catalog 1952-1954
- School of Nursing Catalog 1954-1956
- School of Nursing Catalog 1956-1958
- School of Nursing Catalog 1958-1960
- School of Nursing Catalog 1960-1961
- School of Nursing Catalog 1961-1962
- School of Nursing Catalog 1962-1964 (Part 1)
- School of Nursing Catalog 1962-1964 (Part 2)
- School of Nursing Catalog 1966-1970
- School of Nursing Catalog 1970-1973
- School of Nursing Catalog 1976-1978
- School of Nursing Catalog 1978-1980
- School of Nursing Catalog 1980-1982
- School of Nursing Catalog 1982-1984
- School of Nursing Catalog 1985-1987
- School of Nursing Catalog 1989
- School of Nursing Catalog 1990-1992
- School of Nursing Catalog 1993-1995
- School of Nursing Catalog 1995-1997
- School of Nursing Catalog 1998-2000
- School of Nursing Catalog 2000-2002
- School of Nursing Catalog 2003-2004 (Part 1)
- School of Nursing Catalog 2003-2004 (Part 2)
- School of Nursing Catalog 2004-2005 Undergraduate Programs
- School of Nursing Catalog 2004-2005 Graduate Programs
- University of Maryland, Baltimore Catalog 2009-2011 Graduate Programs
- University of Maryland, Baltimore Catalog 2012-2014 Graduate Programs
- University of Maryland, Baltimore Catalog 2015-2017 Graduate Programs
Please contact your instructor or the course coordinator for copies of the course syllabus. The Office of Records and Registration does not maintain copies of course curriculum.
Certification for Boards or Testing
- For certification of clinical hours, send your request and any additional forms directly to the School of Nursing. You may fax them to 410-706-1278; mail them to University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard St., Suite 104, Baltimore, MD 21201; or email them to email@example.com. Please allow four weeks for processing. Individual notification of processing is not sent.
- Complete the Request for Enrollment Verification Form.
- Attach any required additional forms, instructions, or other documentation to form.
- Forward to the Office of Records and Registration.
- If an official transcript is required, contact the University’s Office of the Registrar for a copy. UMSON cannot request or produce an official transcript.
- Due to the high volume of requests, please allow a minimum of four weeks for processing of board or testing verification. Individual notification of completion of materials is not sent.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) approved the School of Nursing’s awarding of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree beginning in February 2019. Anyone admitted prior to this was admitted to a Master of Science (MS) program, per MHEC’s regulations. Students admitted to the master’s program prior to fall 2019, and any prior alumni, will continue to have the Master of Science (MS) degree designation on their diplomas and transcripts; however, if you choose, you may provide this MS to MSN Equivalency Letter to employers or academic institutions.
- Complete the form. (National clearing houses attempting to obtain proof of enrollment for employees, please see Request an Enrollment Verification.)
- Forward to the Office of Records and Registration
- Allow up to five weeks for processing. (UMSON is currently digitizing student records, so verifications may take five weeks.)
Only individuals who have already graduated or are former students may obtain verification of malpractice insurance coverage and claims history for the time enrolled at the School of Nursing. Current students cannot request verification of coverage or a claims history check until after they have graduated. To obtain this verification:
- Go to the University of Maryland’s Environmental Health and Safety website.
- Follow the instructions for the Procedure for Requesting Proof of Insurance/Claims History and complete the form provided.
- Allow at least three weeks for completion of the process.