Additional Clinical Requirements

Student Attire in Clinical Settings

All students will report for their clinical assignments in attire that is appropriate to the clinical setting and consistent with course and local norms.

Examples of proper attire include:

  • Clothing shall be washable, clean and neat
  • Attire shall allow for comfortable, unrestricted movement
  • Dresses/skirts must be knee length or longer, but not touch the floor
  • Dresses may be worn, as well as a top and skirt, or top and tailored pants

Examples of unacceptable attire include:

  • Sleeveless tops of any kind, sheer blouses, athletic shirts (i.e., rugby, sweat, etc.), casual T-shirts
  • "Jeans" (denim pants) of any sort, painter pants, sweats, leggings, draw-string pants, stretch pants
  • Shorts of any kind

Shoes and Stockings

  • Hosiery should be worn at all times
  • Shoes should have a rubber/non-conductive sole

Examples of unacceptable shoes and hosiery include:

  • "Knee-highs" with skirts/dresses
  • Colored, patterned, "sparkly" stockings

Jewelry, Hair, and Nails

  • The only pierced jewelry that is acceptable is a small stud earring; no hoops, rings, or dangling earrings
  • Watch with sweep second hand
  • Plain wedding bands only
  • Hair must be pulled back out of the face and off the shoulders
  • No colored nail polish
  • No artificial nails

Any student improperly dressed can be sent home by the clinical instructor, preceptor, or faculty liaison. This absence may be reflected in their grade and/or will be made up at the discretion of the instructor, preceptor, or liaison.

Details for the clinical attire for the Masters Direct Entry students are outlined in the Masters Direct Entry Student Handbook.

Required HIPAA Training

All CUIMC students must ANNUALLY complete an online required HIPAA Training Course given by the CUIMC Security and Compliance Training department. Students are emailed training instructions and a completion deadline via their CUIMC Exchange email account each Spring. New students must complete the requirement upon entry (summer or fall) and will need to complete the online training again in the spring term. Students will receive a certificate of completion which should be kept as proof of training for their clinical sites. Students who do not complete the online training will be suspended from participating in clinical placements, their access to clinical information systems will be discontinued, and their CUIMC Exchange email account will be suspended.

Background Checks, Child Protection Clearance, and Fingerprinting for Clinical Placements

Most clinical sites now require that students undergo a criminal background check and request the results prior to starting clinical. It is the individual students' responsibility to understand the implications, if any, should the students have a conviction or other blemish on their background check. Any questions about existing criminal background issues are most appropriately directed to personal legal counsel before enrolling. Columbia University School of Nursing faculty and staff are not able to provide legal advice on such matters.

All students in clinical programs will need to complete a criminal background check through CastleBranch prior to starting clinicals, pursuant to requirements by many clinical placement agencies. Students who fail to do so will be ineligible for placement and this may result in the student being unable to progress in the nursing program.

Students must request and purchase their own background check, and may be required to submit the results to their clinical sites. Some clinical sites require that students complete a background check through their own vendor, check with your clinical coordinator for instructions. Columbia Nursing has set up a background check package for students with competitive rates through Castlebranch. Background checks can take anywhere from three to 14 business days.

Incoming Masters Direct Entry (MDE) students complete a background check before starting the program, since clinical begins immediately. Students who transition from MDE to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will need to be re-checked during the first fall term of the DNP program in preparation for spring clinical. Other students will complete background checks the term prior to their clinical courses begin.

Some clinical sites may require child protection clearance from students. If needed, students must request child protection clearance in writing to the below address:

State Central Register

Division of Child Welfare and Community Services

New York State Office of Children & Family Services, P.O. Box 4480

Albany, NY 12204

Students should include in their letter:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Their full current address
  • Statement requesting all records in the system related to them.

The State Central Register will mail results back to students. Student should then provide their results to their clinical site coordinator.

Clinical sites may also have fingerprinting requirements for students. Board of Education facilities (school based clinics) have already implemented this requirement. CUIMC Department of Public Safety provides students with free fingerprinting; however students must bring their own fingerprint cards. Students can pick up fingerprinting cards from the Academic Affairs Program Support office (School of Nursing Building 5th Floor).

  • CUIMC Department of Public Safety offers free fingerprinting service to students
  • Students must schedule an appointment for fingerprinting with Public Safety - call 305-3493 or visit Public Safety in the William Black Building room 109.
  • Fingerprinting appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • CUIMC Department of Public Safety does not submit the prints to the FBI. The program/agency is responsible for doing this.
  • Students must wash their hands and bring the following for fingerprinting: government issued photo ID card, black pen, and fingerprinting card.
  • Police precincts also provide fingerprinting services – however students are responsible for the payment of fingerprinting fees.

Current RN License Required

All Registered Nurses are expected to maintain current New York State registration as an RN while in the program (all MS, Certificate, and DNP students). All students who are RNs must submit a copy of their CURRENT LICENSE to the Office of Student Services. No RN will be allowed to register for clinical coursework without this document.