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Clinical Compliance Policy 

All students at Penn Nursing in clinical coursework must meet the requirements of the clinical compliance policy. These requirements include immunizations as well as CPR certification, drug screen and background checks, and any other site specific requirements. Records are to be submitted to and held by our compliance vendor, American DataBank.  

Due to the demands of our clinical agencies, requirements are subject to change.



All students must submit proof of certain immunizations and a physical exam in order to enter the clinical setting. Detailed instructions can be found on the Clinical Compliance page.

CPR Certification

All students must be certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR in order to enter the clinical setting. In addition to BLS CPR, some graduate programs require additional levels of certification. More information and detailed instructions can be found on the Clinical Compliance page.

Nursing Licensure
All MSN students in programs with clinical components are required to obtain a RN licensure by endorsement in Pennsylvania and two other states as determined by their program. This is to ensure that the full breadth of clinical education options are available to you. Detailed instructions can be found on the Clinical Compliance page.
Criminal Record Checks, Child Abuse Clearances, and Drug Screens

Students must complete and submit certain background checks and clearances each year of the clinical sequence. Detailed instructions can be found on the Clinical Compliance page.

Pre-Clinical Curriculum (Knowledge Link)
Prior to entering clinical for the first time, all students must complete the School of Nursing Pre-Clinical Compliance curriculum and Penn Medicine training. 

Individual sites may have additional requirements (including but not limited to OSHA education, resumes, or other in-service training or paperwork). Please consult with the course faculty or clinical coordinator to see if these additional requirements apply to your clinical site.

Please see the Clinical Compliance page for additional information, including detailed instructions for submitting documentation, frequently asked questions, and program-specific timelines.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Students who do not complete and submit the background checks, drug screen, certifications and immunization record by their designated date will be placed on registration hold until compliant and dropped from clinical courses. Students who become compliant prior to the beginning of classes will be released from registration hold, allowed to re-register for clinical on a space-available basis, and will be assessed a late fee. Other penalties may be outlined by the course faculty.

Professional Liability Insurance 

Nursing students do not have to obtain professional liability insurance before entering the first clinical, as the University insurance policy covers them during all course-related clinical experiences. However, students contemplating clinical employment must obtain their own professional liability coverage, as the University’s policy does not cover students in employment‑related situations.

Travel to Clinical Sites 

The School of Nursing utilizes a variety of clinical sites, some of which are at area hospitals and some of which may require travel to the site via car or public transportation. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the clinical site and for covering the cost of travel.

Care of Patients with Infectious or Communicable Diseases 

Clinical learning experiences require students to be assigned to provide nursing care for patients with communicable and infectious diseases. Students will be educated in the care of patients with communicable and infectious disease processes. They will learn how to protect themselves, other health care providers, patients, and their families from the transmission of the disease.

The fear of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) poses problems for the nursing profession and for the care of patients with AIDS, AIDS‑related complex (ARC), and +HIV antibody. This fear must be resolved because the faculty believes that all patients have the right to nursing care. Feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and problems will be explored and discussed in the classroom and clinical settings. Methods of problem resolution will assure that the quality of nursing care provided to these patients does not further isolate them from health care.

Management of Body Fluid Exposure 

If you or a student under your supervision experiences a needlestick or other blood/body fluide exposure on clinical rotation, please follow the instructions below.

Note: a “clinical supervisor” is the resource staff member who is most readily available to the student in the clinical setting. Depending on the program and setting, it can be an intern, attending physician, primary care unit group leader, clinical instructor, preceptor, etc.

Instructions for Students

If you experience a Body Fluid Exposure while on a clinical rotation, immediately:

  1. Wash the area.
  2. Notify your clinical supervisor.
  3. Report immediately to the facility’s Occupational Medicine department, if open (if not, report to Emergency Department) for evaluation of the exposure - unless you are at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (HUP).  If you are HUP, report to the Student Health Service (SHS) immediately. If SHS is closed, report to HUP’s Emergency Department. 
    • The goal is to be evaluated quickly so that you can be started on HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) promptly, if necessary.
    • If the facility does not have an Occupational Medicine or Emergency Department, report immediately to SHS.
    • Request a copy of treatment plan and source patient results, when available, for your primary care provider (SHS)
  1. Call SHS on the day of BFE to schedule a non-urgent evaluation at SHS within 1 week.
    • Not necessary if initial evaluation was performed at SHS
    • Bring treatment plan from initial evaluation, including baseline lab work and medications ordered, and source patient results to SHS
Instructions for Clinical Supervisors

If a student under your supervision experiences a body fluid exposure:

  1. Encourage the student to wash the area and report for immediate evaluation of the exposure.
    • Prompt evaluation is important in HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
    • Direct the student to the facility’s Occupational Medicine department, if open, or Emergency Department if not. If the facility does not have an Occupational Medicine department, please direct the student Student Health Service (SHS). If at HUP, report to SHS immediately. If SHS is closed, report to HUP’s Emergency Department.
    • Note the name and second identifier of the source patient and give it to the exposed student to take to his/her evaluation.
  2. Arrange for source patient testing.
    • We find that the complicated processes surrounding source patient testing sometimes cause unnecessary anxiety in students. Your help in obtaining prompt source patient testing will be an invaluable service to your student.
    • Contact the treating physican/provider of the source patient to explain the exposure and request testing for HIV, HBV, and HCV.
    • Arrange to get the results to the student as quickly as possible.
  3. The clinical instructor is to inform the Office of Student Information (OSI) of the incident as soon as possible: or 215-898-8127. 
    • Please include the following information:
      • Name of student
      • Date and time
      • Location