Mandatory Vaccine Waiver in Nursing School/Clinicals

  1. Hey guys, I have a question for anyone else who is a fellow "non-vaccinator" or against mandatory vaccination. What did you do for nursing school, particularly clinical locations immunization requirements? After a lot of research, I've found that while many nurses can sign immunization waivers that are offered by some hospitals, etc., I haven't heard of a nursing student who has successfully avoided vaccination requirements associated with nursing school and clinical facilities.

    I am well aware that vaccination is a very controversial subject in the medical field and many feel strongly on both sides of the issue. My intention is not to debate or discuss the merits of vaccinations, but to hear from other nurses and nursing students who challenged the vaccine requirements and how you went about it.

    I look forward to hearing from you!
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  2. 83 Comments

  3. by   Castiela
    I'm pretty sure our program offered the choice of being vaccinated or not going to that school. Out of curiousity, which vaccines are you against and why?
  4. by   chare
    First, vaccinations are not a "controversial" subject in the medical field as the majority of medical professionals understand and accept the preponderance of literature supporting their use. There is, however considerable controversy amongst some non-medical groups.

    As to waivers, I wouldn't place much hope in receiving one. Immunization requirements while in nursing school are based in large part ob what the hosting facility requires, and a growing number od facilities are eliminating personal and religious exemptions, and limiting medical exemptions to those approved by their own epidemiology.

    Unfortunately for you, if you want to be a nurse, you are likely going to have to accept the vaccinations.
  5. by   firecracker_1
    Quote from Castiela
    I'm pretty sure our program offered the choice of being vaccinated or not going to that school. Out of curiousity, which vaccines are you against and why?
    I am referring the routine vaccines that are widely required to get into nursing schools and their associated clinical facilities.
  6. by   firecracker_1
    Quote from chare
    As to waivers, I wouldn't place much hope in receiving one. Immunization requirements while in nursing school are based in large part ob what the hosting facility requires, and a growing number od facilities are eliminating personal and religious exemptions, and limiting medical exemptions to those approved by their own epidemiology.
    Thanks for your input. I'm aware of the clinical facilities requirements being separate from the nursing schools.
  7. by   oceanblue52
    It is very difficult, if not impossible to get vaccines waived. Typically it is not the school but the clinical sites that have these requirements. From their perspective, it's puts their patients at risk and sets them up for increased liability. So even if you successfully petition the school, they will have a difficult time finding a placement for you. Clinical sites essentially have the final say, and with placement as competitive as it is I doubt the schools will allow you to matriculate without records. Did you get vaccinated as a child? Some of those records may suffice, with the exception of the flu shot and possibly TDaP. And keep in mind too that this fight will continue to follow you into the workplace. Not trying to be argumentative, just offering my observations.
  8. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from firecracker_1
    Thanks for your input. I'm aware of the clinical facilities requirements being separate from the nursing schools.
    Yes but no clinicals=no diploma. So there's that.
  9. by   firecracker_1
    Quote from oceanblue52
    It is very difficult, if not impossible to get vaccines waived. Typically it is not the school but the clinical sites that have these requirements. From their perspective, it's puts their patients at risk and sets them up for increased liability. So even if you successfully petition the school, they will have a difficult time finding a placement for you. Clinical sites essentially have the final say, and with placement as competitive as it is I doubt the schools will allow you to matriculate without records.
    Thanks for sharing! Through my research and experiences, I've discovered those aspects and agree with you.

    Quote from oceanblue52
    Did you get vaccinated as a child? Some of those records may suffice, with the exception of the flu shot and possibly TDaP.
    I did get vaccinated as a child, and the records are sufficient with the nursing programs I'm considering. However, some of the vaccines required I've either not received or they must have been gotten within the last 10 years.

    Quote from oceanblue52
    And keep in mind too that this fight will continue to follow you into the workplace. Not trying to be argumentative, just offering my observations.
    I understand it is also a workplace issue and am prepared to deal with that in the course of my career. I definitely appreciate your observations and didn't take it as argumentative, so thank you!
  10. by   firecracker_1
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Yes but no clinicals=no diploma. So there's that.
    I understand your point. My question is directed to anyone who has dealt with the clinicals requirements, in hopes of getting advice or tips regarding the issue.
  11. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from firecracker_1
    I understand your point. My question is directed to anyone who has dealt with the clinicals requirements, in hopes of getting advice or tips regarding the issue.
    We get that but we are telling you that you are searching for the proverbial unicorn. You asked for advice and our advice to you is if you really want to be a nurse you'll have to get vaccinated. It's as simple as that. But by no means let us stop you from continuing your search to find a way to circumvent the rules. Bear in mind though, as a previous poster mentioned, this will cause issues for you in the future as well. Best wishes in your schooling.
  12. by   blackboxwarning
    Quote from firecracker_1
    hear from other nurses and nursing students who challenged the vaccine requirements and how you went about it.
    Sorry, they're all dead.
  13. by   firecracker_1
    Quote from blackboxwarning
    They're dead.
    rofl, that made me die laughing, good one!!
  14. by   student_nrs
    Having completed an EMT, CNA, and (almost) BSN program, as well as working in a variety of healthcare settings, I am unaware of anyone who has even tried to challenge the vaccine requirements. My guess would be this is because most people who go into these professions understand why being vaccinated is important, and those who don't, know they must bite the bullet if they want to work in healthcare. The only exception to this is the flu vaccine. You can sign a refusal waiver, but once flu season starts you must wear a mask during all direct patient care. In a large hospital, I only know of one nurse who refuses the flu vaccine and uses this option.

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