• Nursing (RN to BSN)

School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership

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  • RN-BSN Current Student Resources


    New and current RN-BSN students will find essential information here within the tabs below.

  • The RN-BSN student handbook is your guide to the program processes and your success. Students are accountable for familiarizing themselves with that latest Handbook version contents and for compliance with the policies and procedures within the Handbook.

    [ Printable PDF ]

    To comply with Minnesota, federal, and clinical agency requirements for MSUM’s RN-BSN students, all students must verify all program requirements (listed below) before program start. Thereafter, some requirements will need re-verification, depending on how long your program of study lasts. Also, some agencies may add requirements beyond what are currently listed below below; in such case students would need to comply with the added clinical site requirement(s).

    The list of requirements is below and in the RN-BSN Student Handbook. To remain program compliant, it is absolutely the student’s responsibility to be current with verifications listed below. Students who are non-compliant face risk of program dismissal.

    WHERE to Upload Required Verifications

    Students in the RN-BSN program are required to submit (or complete) all verifications to an electronic compliance management system called CastleBranch® (formerly Certified Background). The program does not accept or maintain any hard copies of health records. Within CastleBranch ® students will establish an account which provides a secure location to upload, track, monitor, and house all program verifications.

    Upon acceptance to the program, RN-BSN students will receive an email outlining the process below to get started in CastleBranch® (CB).

    Here is what you will need to do:

    1. Place your order and create your account here: https://portal.castlebranch.com/MQ10/
    2. Begin by clicking “Place Order” then under “Please Select,” choose Nursing > Undergraduate.
    3. The cost for you to complete the verification on your CastleBranch® account is a one-time fee of $97.00.
    4. Within the CastleBranch ® link, in Nursing Undergraduate, select MQ12 (background check, document manager, etc)
    5. If you have any issues with this phase, first call the CastleBranch service personnel for assistance @ 888.723.4263 or see https://mycb.castlebranch.com/help
    6. If you need additional support, contact the nursing office or assistants at nursing@mnstate.edu or snhlsa@mnstate.edu or call either at 218.477.2693.
    7. Once you have created your account and purchased your package, you can upload your verifications listed below, order the required background study, and complete required acknowledgements.


    Compliance Requirements

    Acceptable Verification

    When Due

    FutureFocus Questionaire

    Within CastleBranch® there are currently a few demographic questions to complete.

    on admission

    HIPAA Training

    Within CastleBranch®, students complete HIPAA Training (Overview 2013) which documents training within CB.

    on admission

    Minnesota DHS NETStudy (background check)

    By MN law, through the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), all nursing students must submit a specific Minnesota DHS NETStudy (background) on admission and annually. Directions to order your MSUM-paid DHS study come to you by email or directly from nursing office or assistants: nursing@mnstate.edu or snhlsa@mnstate.edu.

    Within approximately one month after your DHS study order, the MN study results will come to students’ home address (cleared backgrounds come on blue documents). Students are to then upload a copy of clearance report within the CastleBranch® (CB) tracker.

    on admission and annually

    Clinical Compliance Requirements

    Acceptable Verification

    When Due

    1. Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR)

    Either a or b below

    1. Documentation of two vaccines OR
    2. Lab report documenting immunity (a titer documenting immunity of all three diseases).

    Submit official documentation of a or b within CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission

    1. Varicella (Chickenpox)

    Either a or b below

    1. Documentation of immunization (2 doses) OR
    2. Lab report documenting immunity (a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) titer).

    Note: a history of varicella disease does not guarantee immune status.

    Submit official documentation of a or b within CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission

    1. Hepatitis B

    Either a or b below

    1. Documentation of 3-dose series OR
    2. Lab report documenting Hep B immunity (e.g., HepBsAb or anti HepB).

    Submit official documentation of a or b within CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission

    1. TB screening

    Either a, b, or c below

    1. One two-step Tuberculin Skin Test (TST). Submit report of two TSTs on admission. One-step annually thereafter. OR
    2. Chest X-Ray report by provider. A healthcare provider report of one negative chest x-ray (within past 24 months) and absence of symptoms. OR
    3. Lab Test. A negative TB blood test on admission (e.g., QuantiFeron®-TB or T-Spot® TB).

    Submit official documentation of a, b, or c within CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission
    2-step TST and annual one-step TST or b, c

    1. Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis

    Either a or b below

    1. One dose of Tdap vaccine within the last 10 years. OR
    2. One dose of Tdap vaccine administered as an adult and one booster dose of Td within the last 10 years. (must provide both records as a single upload)

    Submit official documentation of a or b within CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission

    1. Current CPR Certification

    Documentation of current Healthcare Provider/Professional Level CPR certification (expires every 2 years)

    Submit official documentation to CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission keep current while actively enrolled

    1. Influenza Vaccine

    Annual record of vaccine during flu season (Oct 1 – March 31); deadline: Nov 1.

    Submit official documentation (need vaccine lot #, date and administering person’s signature) to CastleBranch® tracker.

    Up to date for current season upon admission
    Annually in fall by Nov 1

    1. Health Insurance Coverage

    Submit verification of health care insurance coverage where indicated within CastleBranch® tracker

    on admission

    1. Professional License (RN License[s])

    Submit a copy of current, official verification of Professional License (RN License[s]) in CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission
    keep current while actively enrolled

    1. Handbook Acknowledgement

    Students verify that they have read the current RN to BSN Handbook within CastleBranch® tracker.

    on admission
    re-submit, as directed, as handbook is updated

    1. Student Consent Form

    Complete Student Consent Form – link found within CastleBranch® site. Upload where indicated.

    on admission


    Acceptable Verification

    When Due

    Demographic Document Data Manager

    Complete Demographic Document Data Manager in the CB tracker and update to keep current if/when a student changes an address.

    on admission and when needed

    Background check - national

    Within the CastleBranch® tracker, order the background study (national) on admission and within 12 months of the final student semester, before capstone courses begin.

    on admission and prior to final semester


    [ Printable PDF ]

    RN-BSN Program: Computer Access and Recommendations

    This program exclusively uses the online environment in this educational experience. Therefore, it is important for students to utilize appropriate hardware and software to be successful. MSUM’s Information Technology department will help ensure that your equipment will serve your needs; please contact Information Technology for any questions: support@mnstate.edu.

    Basically, you will be served best in the MnSCU system if your computer is a PC, if you use current Microsoft Office products, and use Firefox as your browser.

    Below are the suggested minimum technology requirements for the RN-BSN Program.


    • Processor: Inter Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM or higher (8 is better)
    • Hard Drive: 250 GB minimum
    • Internet Access: Cable, DSL, FiOS
    • Video: On board video, 512 MB memory, minimum
    • Wireless: Campus does have 802.11g or 802.11b access points, fyi
    • Soundcard: Any compatible type – there will be internet meetings in some courses
    • Speakers: Any compatible type – see above
    • Webcam: Optional – though desirable for internet meetings
    • USB Flash: 2 GB (recommended only)
    • Browser: Firefox (recommended as works best with MnSCU systems), Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari (most recent version)
    • Surge Protector: Recommended
    • Anti-Virus: Yes [examples: Symantec, McAfee, Bitefender (paid products) OR Avast amd MS Security Essentials (freeware)]

    Minimum Software

    • Operating System: Microsoft Window 7 professional or higher
    • Programs: Microsoft Office 2010 or newer/higher version
      • Microsoft Word (not Microsoft Works)
      • Microsoft PowerPoint
      • Microsoft Excel Virus Protection required to access campus networks


    • The program does not recommend or support the Microsoft Vista Operating system.
    • The program recommends Windows/Intel based computers to ensure full compatibility with internal systems and applications.
    • A Macintosh brand computer may work for some operations; however, there are typically instances where a Macintosh is not compatible.
    • MSUM offers discounted software purchased for current students @ http://www.mnstate.edu/it/personalpurchases.aspx
    • MSUM also has a link to a computer check @ http://www.mnstate.edu/instructional-technology/computer-check.aspx  
    • A computer for educational purposes can be applied to your financial aid and might be a tax deduction.
    • Maintenance of a personal computer is the student’s responsibility.
    • See IT Purchasing Recommendations for computers.


    You will find a great introduction to our program and frequently asked questions in this video.


    Scholarships available through the funding of the MSUM Alumni Foundation and facilitated through the MSUM Nursing Scholarship Committee 

    MSUM Nursing Scholarships

    Students interested in applying for a scholarship offered through the MSUM Nursing Department, please submit an electronic application to the MSUM Scholarship Committee by February 15 each year. There are a number of scholarships available, each having individual criteria. A single application will be used to screen for scholarship eligibility.

    Application for all is completed with the provided online application:

    • Antoinette Eliason Memorial Scholarship - This award is made available through MSUM past President and Mrs. Barden, in memory of Mrs. Barden’s mother. Award selection is based on applicant need.
    • Arty Heald Memorial Scholarship - Arthur (Arty) John Pedro Heald was the son of nursing professor Donna Heald Clark, who died at age 30 of a rare form of kidney cancer. Throughout his 20 month battle with the disease, Arty exemplified the heroism of those who are diagnosed with a serious illness. He never lost courage or spirit. This need based scholarship provides financial support for baccalaureate nursing students as they further their knowledge to provide the most competent and compassionate care for heroes like Arty.
    • Dakota Medical Foundation Scholarship - This ward is made available through a matching grant with the Dakota Medical Foundation. Award selection is based on applicant merit and need, and requires residence or employment within the DMF service area.
    • Leroy Justesen Family Scholarship - This scholarship is provided by the Justesen family and selection is based on academic achievement, as well as scholarship qualification.
    • MSUM Nursing Program Scholarships - This award is made available through gifts provided to MSUM and designated for nursing education. The recipient selection is based on academic achievement, professional goals and financial need.
    • Olaf and Ruby Aarseth Endowment - Financial Need, Honors Apprentice
    • Sanford Health Foundation Oswald Ronice Scholarship - This award is made available through the Oswald Ronice family. Scholarship selection is based on scholarship, merit, extra-curricular activity and need.
    • The Rodney and Carolyn Pseka Annual Nursing Scholarship - Nursing & Health Care Leadership, Female, Single Mother

    Other Scholarship, Grant, Loan, Reimbursement & Career Information


    The MSUM Student Handbook provides general guidance and direction and is not intended to cover every conceivable situation. The information about University policies outlines the rights, responsibilities, and privileges enjoyed by the students, faculty, and staff that make up the University community.

    The Xi Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing, provides valuable resources throughout your nursing career, connection with peers, opportunities for mentoring and making a difference in the future of health care.