Background checks

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Required background checks

When you apply Nursing Program

The UW Background Check, Authorization for Repeat Checks, and Dissemination of Results form is included in the undergraduate and graduate program applications. Print, sign, date, submit a completed UW School of Nursing Background Check, Authorization for Repeat Checks, and Dissemination of Results form with your application.

DO NOT PAY THE $54 FEE TO RUN THE BACKGROUND CHECK AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION. If admitted to the program, you will receive a time window during which you will pay to have your background check run.

Applicants with a positive criminal history are encouraged to submit a written statement with their application materials explaining the circumstances. Applicants who do not fill out the Background Check, Authorization for Repeat Checks, and Dissemination of Results form truthfully will not be considered for admission.  For examples of offenses that would result in individuals being ineligible for the program, see the Department of Social and Health Services Secretary's List of Crimes and Negative Actions.  Contact the Nursing Program Director for additional information.

Newly admitted and continuing students

If and when you are offered admission to the Nursing Program, you will be instructed at that time to use an online service, CastleBranch Inc., to obtain the required background check. All students pay a fee for this service; the current fee is approximately $54.

  • Continuing BSN and MN students must maintain a background check with acceptable results completed within the past 24 months throughout their enrollment in the Nursing Program. Continuing Nursing students will be asked to renew their background checks biennially until they graduate.

Please do not run this check prior to your admittance. If a check is run too early you will be asked to run the check again.

CastleBranch will provide the Nursing Program with required background check information for all states, so there is no need for those who have resided outside the state of Washington during the last three (3) years to provide this information separately.

No international background checks are required for international admits or domestic admits who have resided outside the U.S. during the past three (3) years. However, these admits will still need to complete the CastleBranch background check.

Completing the background check

If you receive a Nursing program admission offer, your admission packet will include instructions for completing the CastleBranch background check.  Do NOT run the check before you have been officially notified that you have been admitted to the undergraduate or graduate degree program.


Some things to remember

  • The UW Tacoma Nursing Program will have online access to your completed CastleBranch background check report. Should your background check raise areas of concern related to your participation in the program, you will be contacted by a representative of the Nursing Program.  
  • The background check with acceptable results is REQUIRED as part of your admittance to the program. You should submit the necessary information to CastleBranch in a timely manner so that your check can be reviewed. Without it, your offer of admittance will be rescinded. Background checks that provide evidence of a positive criminal history will be considered on a case by case basis. 
  • We understand that the cost of running a background check can be burdensome, but the fee cannot be waived. 

For assistance with technical issues with the CastleBranch website (logging in, payment issues, etc.), go to and click the drop down field labelled "I am a Student, Faculty or Staff Member." Click the appropriate issue in one of the gray fields and you will be provided a phone number and a link to a customer service email form.