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Getting vaccinated for Nursing school?

cmj1986 cmj1986 (New) New

Ok so I'm just about to begin my prerequisites in a few weeks for the RN program. After considering a few different careers I've chosen nursing because I think I'd like it and I know I like helping people. I'm excited to start school but i'm a little concerned with receiving any vaccinations that from my understanding are required to be in the nursing program. I honestly do not want ANY vaccines, I don't even vaccinate my own children. Are these vaccines absolutely required or is there a way to get by without getting them. Everyone I've talked to that has went to nursing school says that several vaccines are required and you MUST get them. But I've read things online from actual nurses that say they don't get vaccinated and they don't believe in vaccines. There are also some schools around my area i've talked to that said it's not really them who cares wether you get vaccinated or not, but it's up to the hospital where you perform clinicals at that might want you to have certain vaccinations. So what is the real answer? I don't want to change my major but I really really really do not want any vaccinations! Does anyone in nursing school know about this? I'm in the central florida area by the way. Thanks!

I want to add that I have received many vaccines as a child so I'm sure I have a immunization record to give, I just have to call around and get it. My friend who recently graduated from the same college i'll be going to said that she provided her immunization record from when she was a child so I can do the same but that she still needed a updated tetanus shot and hib.


Specializes in Pediatrics and Med Surf Float. Has 5 years experience.

My school did antibody titers for all students even with my complete the vaccination record. we had to go to employee health before starting for 2 PPD and the titers. we also before our second level for PPD. when i was there the second year, they saw my tetanus was 5 years old (which is still good for another 5) gave me the TDap booster because I was going into my peds rotation and needed the pertussis booster.

the school also does flu vaccines which I get because I've had the flu. I'd rather get the shot than go through it again.


Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

A few questions for you:

1. What exactly do you believe about vaccines that makes you not want them?

2. How many nurses do your really know that "don't believe" in them?

I don't know any clinical sites that will let unvaccinated employees have patient contact (without extenuating circumstances).

I think it will be very difficult for you to find clinical sites without further vaccinations. I quick call to your local hospitals HR departments and I think they will tell you that as either an intern or employee, you need to be current on all vaccines or get boosters based on your tithers.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

This is a question for your school and clinical sites/further employers. In my area, there was no if and's or buts about it. Certain vaccines were a must. We couldn't go to our clinical site without a Flu vaccine, the only exception was a previous reaction or allergy to it, then the student or nurse(yes already employed there) had to wear a mask each shift during flu season. Each area is different..The only vaccine that was not required was the Hep B. It was however highly advised.

A few questions for you:

1. What exactly do you believe about vaccines that makes you not want them?

This ^

When you realize, in a clinical setting, how easily you might be able to contract certain illnesses because you had not been immune to them via vaccine or otherwise, well.... once you realize that its time to weigh whatever personal beliefs you have about the cons of vaccination and the cons of contracting those diseases.

Even if you can get through school without them, you might have a hard time finding employment.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Agree with PPs. Don't forget that this (foregoing vaccinations) would also expose vulnerable patients to illnesses carried by unvaccinated healthcare providers. This is a fundamental ethical violation of patient rights/ patient safety.

I start the BSN program next month and we are required to get vaccinations/titers with the HepA and Meningococcal being optional but recommended. If you don't have them done before the program starts you will forfeit your spot and it will go to the next alternate in line. I never get the flu shot but my program required it so I got it. If your program requires vaccinations go ahead and get them. If you don't want to get them then most likely you will not be able to be placed at your clinical site thus you won't be able to complete the nursing program simple as that. I've worked way too hard to get to this point to just throw it all away because I don't want the shots. If you don't want to get the vaccinations then nursing may not be the field for you.

You do have to have great immunity as a nurse. I respect that you have your values and you distrust some vaccines. However, sometimes in life... you just have to do things you don't want to, to protect others and also to get a job.

tenjuna, MSN

Specializes in Informatics, Orthopaedics. Has 5 years experience.

This issue came up during my Microbiology class, but it seems a growing number of people are refusing immunizations.

Frankly, regardless of religious or personal beliefs, this is one of those basic things that is a "duh" thing to do. You eat as to not starve, you breathe as to not suffocate, and you innoculate yourself as to not sucumbe to very common diseases. This is why (among other reasons) smallpox is becoming a re-emerging disease.

As to your question, I cannot possibly see why immunizations would NOT be required. It protects you, it protects the patient, it protects your school and employer legally.

Apologies for the strongly-worded reply, but this may be one of the dumbest nursing student related questions I have seen yet.


afterseason, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds PACU & Peds Psych. Has 1 years experience.

At my school, refusing vaccines is guaranteed failure of the course. Why? Because clinical sites require these vaccines. If you can't do the rotation, you fail your clinical portion, which means you fail the class. The school will allow students to submit a notarized document saying they refuse vaccines for personal or religious reasons, but the hospitals are not required to accept these -- and they don't. I have always avoided vaccines, especially the flu, but I sucked it up and got everything done for the sake of school. If you're not willing to do the same, then you may want to seriously reconsider the profession you're going into.

DisneyNurseGal, BSN, RN

Has 8 years experience.

After seeing my best friends 2 year old daughter suffer and then DIE because of Whooping Cough (she was against the vaccines too), I will never understand the choice not to vaccinate. To watch that poor baby suffer for three months, then the aftermath of watching my friend become a shell of her former self. It was 5 years ago, she has never gotten over it, and never forgiven herself.

I would vaccinate myself and my kids three times if I could.

However, that is your personal choice, but you should not expose sick patients to diseases you are carrying.

There was no way we could sign a waiver for the vaccines where I went to school. We were even required to get the Flu shot, which really ticked me off. The hospitals would not allow us to attend clinicals without them. I live in MI and you dont have a right to work anywhere, you do what your employer tells you or you are fired. You cant get a job in most hospitals now without getting flu shot every year.

I think you have received your answer by now: you'll be getting the required vaccinations or you'll not be going to nursing school.

Even if you've had Dtap and MMR as a child, you may have to provide quantitative results that prove immunity (not just immunization records). If the results of the titers come back that you are not immune or you are in the equivocal range, then they will recommend you get vaccinated again. You may also need Hep B, Varicella, and the flu shot. The flu shot is the only one we can decline at our school but then we have to wear a face mask at all times in clinical.

It's the clinical sites that require the health clearance and you don't get to choose your clinical site. You won't be able to even start the program without a health clearance and like others point out, you also need a health clearance to work.

Regardless of what you personally believe, these are the rules and standards at hospitals. You don't have to abide by them, but that means that you don't get to be a nurse. That's the situation and I'm sorry that it comes in conflict with your personal views. But we all have to face things in life, school, and the workplace that may not gel with our beliefs and ideals. Accept the realities as they are and find a solution that you can live with. Maybe not getting vaccinated is more important to you than being a nurse. Or being a nurse is a goal that you are willing to sacrifice your vaccination stance for. I don't have the answer. But you must choose something that you can whole heartedly be okay with.

Just for the record I do not support the requirment of the flu vaccine for employment. If you dont like the rules, than go to Law school and be a politician. Mabye you could help to stop this form of economic terrorism. Employers are now holding our jobs hostage based on our behaviors (smoking) and healthcare choices. Just waiting to see what they will come up with next. If it wasnt illegal anyone overweight or with a medical condition wouldnt be able to get a job either.

Hi question. I was recently accepted into nursing school. I've gotten all required boosters and vaccines but was not allowed pertussis cause I had a violent reaction as a child. Will they let me do clinicals? I'm so worried.