Background Checks, Drug Screens, and Health Records | Mercy College

Background Checks, Drug Screens, and Health Records

Clinical Program/Practicum Students:

Welcome to Mercy College of Ohio! Please bookmark this page as it contains important information for students and is updated when new information is available.

Once you have been officially accepted into the clinical program (or a practicum with health records and background check requirements):

  • Review the information regarding prerequisites which must be completed prior to participation in the clinical/practicum. 
  • Begin collecting your medical records to determine what must be completed (review the Basic Requirements Information below).
  • Schedule an appointment with your physician if you have not had a recent physical. Physical exams older than 6 months will be rejected by CastleBranch, but if given within the past 12 months, please contact to see if it is admissible. Documentation does not have to be on our form if a physical has already been completed within the acceptable timeframe.

You will create an account with CastleBranch to store your documentation, and their reviewers will ensure that the information you have provided meets your program's requirements.

Students who return/are readmitted to a clinical program after an absence follow Policy 530 Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen to determine what steps must be taken to ensure compliance prior to clinical placement. Please refer to Students Returning to Clinicals under the FAQs and Tips section below

DO NOT SCHEDULE fingerprinting/background check or drug screening until after your CastleBranch account has been created. You must use the fingerprinting and drug screen forms and instructions in your CastleBranch account. We cannot accept results from other parties.


  • Print the Student Checklist to help you stay on track.
  • Open the Program Codes and Deadlines for the appropriate Academic Year to locate the applicable program code and deadline and write it on your checklist. Day and Evening Nursing programs offered in Toledo and Youngstown have different package codes, so make sure you select the correct package code for the program and semester you are starting.
  • Make sure you know your EMPOWER number or Student ID number.
  • Have a credit card/payment method to pay for your CastleBranch account (payment includes associated fees for fingerprinting/background check and/or drug screen, if they are part of your package).
  • Go to the ordering portal to proceed:

There are four components of your CastleBranch account - all must remain compliant while you are in the clinical program/practicum to maintain eligibility for clinical participation. Additional details are found under the Basic Requirements Information:

  • Health records
  • Drug test
  • Fingerprinting
  • Background check

Documentation for health records includes various vaccination requirements. Students unable to receive vaccinations due to permanent or temporary circumstances should refer to Students Unable to Receive Vaccines under the FAQs and Tips section below. Requests for extensions or waivers are not automatic, must include physician documentation, and should be requested a minimum of two weeks prior to the due date to allow time for processing.

In most circumstances, criminal background checks and drug screens are only performed after a student has been accepted into a health program (or is ready to begin the clinical/practicum/field experience portion of their program).  However, some agencies require current fingerprinting and drug test results from students prior to clinical placement at that site. 

If updated results are required, students will be notified by a program administrator that an updated fingerprint/drug test package must be ordered. These special package codes are designated with “fpdt” - for instance, MW05fpdt is the fingerprint/drug test package code for the Youngstown ASN Evening and Weekend program. 

NOTE to Youngstown students: If fingerprints are scanned at a Fast Fingerprints mobile unit during orientation and the package code is not placed within 24-48 hours, you will need to contact CastleBranch after placing your order to ask whether the results have already been received (if results are returned before an order is placed there is nowhere to upload the results).

If you have questions, please contact and include your full name and the program in which you are enrolled.

Student Checklist (PDF)

Fall 2017 to Summer 2018 Program Codes and Deadlines (PDF)

Fall 2018 to Summer 2019 Program Codes and Deadlines (PDF)

Program Requirements Overview (PDF)

Basic Requirements Information: Additional Program Specific Requirements:
Background Check and Fingerprinting (PDF) Heartsaver Certification - Community Health Worker Students Only (PDF)
Drug Screen (PDF) Professional Licensure - Medical Imaging Students Only (PDF)
Healthcare Provider BLS (PDF) State RAD Licensure - Medical Imaging Students Only (PDF)
Hepatitis B (PDF) State RN Licensure - Master of Science in Nursing Students Only (PDF)
Influenza (PDF)  
TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) (PDF)  
Tuberculosis (PDF)  
Varicella (PDF)  
Forms: FAQs and Tips:
Health Survey (PDF) Automatic Bars for Obtaining Nursing License Ohio Board of Nursing (PDF)
Physical Examination (PDF) CastleBranch FAQs for Students (PDF)
TB Symptoms Review (only for use with Chest X-ray report) (PDF) CastleBranch Package Prices (PDF)
TB 2-step and TB Renewal (PDF) Printing the CastleBranch To-Do List (TDL) Summary (PDF)
Student Acknowledgement (PDF) Students Returning to Clinicals (PDF)
Student Consent (PDF) Students Unable to Receive Vaccines (PDF)
Student Disclosure (PDF) Students Without a Local Physician (PDF)
  Uploading Documents to CastleBranch (PDF)
  Uploading TDL Summary to Canvas for Clinical Verification (PDF)
  Instructions for Scanning Items - Mercy College Toledo Campus Library ONLY (PDF)
  Instructions for Scanning to USB from MFD - Mercy College Toledo Campus Only (PDF)