Student Health

Nursing students, under direct faculty supervision, perform essentially the same physical activities in the clinical areas as do professional registered nurses. For more information:

Preclinical period health requirements

Preclinical health requirements include a health screening and immunizations and tests for infectious disease titers, with completion of the Cumulative Health Record. The choice of the physician or certified nurse practitioner is at the student's discretion.

It is important to be aware of the physical demands of the nursing program.

All students are strongly encouraged to review the drug screening procedures.

Cumulative health record

Prior to beginning the clinical portion of the program, each student will be given a Cumulative Health Record form. This record is to be completed and submitted to the school. In order to complete the record, the student will require a complete health screening with physical examination and immunization status.

Health screening

Prior to beginning class and clinical experience, all students are to submit documentation of a physical examination that certifies the individual is free from, and has been vaccinated against, ordinary communicable diseases and has a health status consistent with meeting the physical demands of the nursing program.


Physical demands of the nursing program

The physical demands of the nursing program are as follows:

  • Nursing students, under direct faculty supervision, perform essentially the same physical activities in the clinical areas as do professional registered nurses.
  • Nursing students must possess the knowledge and ability to learn to effectively assess patients' bio-psycho-social and spiritual needs. They must possess the cognitive ability and physical skills to learn to utilize a problem-solving approach to assessing patients in order to identify health problems, plan and implement a broad range of therapeutic nursing interventions, and evaluate the nursing care provided and the patient's response. The skills and abilities inherent in the practice of nursing include, but are not limited to, observation, communication, critical thinking, quantification, and motor activity.
  • Nursing students must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information and describe changes in the patient’s status, including the observation of non-verbal patient behavior and communication. Nursing students need to have corrected vision and hearing to normal range and should be able to communicate effectively in oral and written form with all members of the healthcare team.
  • Students will need to be able to perform motor skills requiring full range of body motion, including handling and lifting patients, manual and finger dexterity, and eye-hand coordination. Clinical nursing requires standing and walking for extensive periods of time and the occasional lifting and carrying of items weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Students will need the ability to learn to adapt to working under changing and stressful conditions and should be aware that they will be exposed to communicable diseases and bodily fluids. Students are provided with knowledge and skills related to their own protection when working with patients who have infectious disease processes and when handling body fluids.

Technical accommodation can be made for some disabilities, but a student should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in that the student’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of observation and selection.

Qualified students with disabilities, on an individual basis, will be provided necessary or reasonable accommodation with primary emphasis taking into consideration the educational and safety needs of the student and the safety of patients.

The process of providing accommodations to disabled students will include, but not be limited to, medical determination of the disability by the student’s licensed healthcare provider to include a statement of the student’s abilities and limitations in relation to these program requirements. The student may be evaluated by Allegheny Valley Hospital’s Occupational Health department and possibly referred for additional professional evaluation.

Immunizations and tests of infectious disease titers

Mumps, Rubeola, Rubella, and Varicella titers are required. Immunizations will be required if blood screening results indicate lack of immunity.

Hepatitis B vaccination is required. If the student has already completed the three-part injection series prior to the required pre-entrance physical, the student is to have a titer done to insure immunity. Students may refuse Hepatitis B immunization or hepatitis antibody antigen screening provided they sign a release form.

A current (within the past year) 2-step purified protein derivative (PPD/Mantoux) tuberculosis test is also required.

Documentation of all vaccination dates and titers is to be included in the Cumulative Health Record.


Clinical period student health requirements

During the clinical period, student health concerns (including medical Insurance, health screenings, and immediate professional health care for illness, accidents, medical disabilities, and communicable diseases) are the student's responsibility.

Medical insurance

All students are strongly encouraged to carry personal health insurance coverage.

The hospital will not assume any responsibility for debts due to illness.

Health screenings

Each student may have a PPD (Mantoux) test for tuberculosis performed by the hospital at the end of the first year.

Influenza vaccine will be offered by the Hospital.

During Orientation, students will be given information concerning blood-borne pathogens, risks of exposure, and preventive measures.

Immediate professional health care

All students are to utilize their own personal physicians for healthcare needs. Neither Allegheny Valley Hospital nor affiliating agencies will be responsible for treating ill students. If a student chooses to utilize the Allegheny Valley Hospital Emergency Department for care, the student and the student's insurance company will be billed.

Students are not provided the same benefits that hospital employees are provided under workers' compensation. For this reason, it is expected that the student will carry his/her own insurance.

Needlestick injuries or body fluid exposures will be handled according to the hospital's protocols through the Emergency Department.

Return from illness or injury

After an illness of 3 days or more or after an injury requiring the application of a cast or the use of crutches, students must provide the school with a physician's release. This release is to specify whether the student may attend class or clinical and is to indicate any activity restrictions and the length of time of those restrictions.

Students are to schedule physician appointments so they do not conflict with class or clinical time.

School policy provides opportunities for students who are in good standing to complete course requirements following a prolonged absence due to a documented illness (refer to the Attendance Policy).

Accidents onsite

Accidents or injuries that occur to nursing students while in a clinical area or in the School of Nursing building must be reported within 24 hours to the School of Nursing Office so that a Supervisor's Investigation of Employee Accident Report can be filled out.

Medical disabilities

Students are encouraged to inform the Director, School of Nursing, of any medical disability or condition, to include pregnancy, that develops that might affect the safety of the students, staff, or patient during the clinical experience.

Depending on the nature of the medical condition, a statement by a physician may be required that includes the nature of the disability and physical or clinical experience accommodations or limitations required by the student. The student may be referred to Allegheny Valley Hospital's Occupational Health Department for evaluation.

Student confidentiality will be maintained regarding the nature of the medical condition, with only the Assistant Director and the Director, School of Nursing, and the Occupational Health Nurse having access to this information. Faculty involved with students will be informed of the physical/clinical limitations and accommodations only. No information will be released to any person/agency without prior written consent of the student.

Communicable diseases

Any student who contracts or has an immediate family member who contracts chickenpox, scabies, lice, or any other communicable disease must inform the Assistant Director immediately so that assurances can be made that communicable diseases are not transmitted to classmates, hospital staff, or patients.


Student drug screening

In an effort to protect the interests of patients, employees, and students, Citizens School of Nursing will conduct drug screening on all new students.

New students are screened through the Allegheny Valley Hospital Occupational Medicine/Health Works Department.

A positive test result for any drug other than a therapeutic dosage of a legally prescribed drug or over-the-counter medication is considered grounds for dismissal.

The fee for the drug screening is charged to the student as a nonrefundable fee.

Drug screening is repeated before the Obstetrics/Pediatrics clinical experience.