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Criminal Background Checks

Minnesota law requires that any person who provides services that involve direct contact (as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Section 245C) with patients and residents at a healthcare facility licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health have a background study conducted by the state. Any individual who is disqualified from having direct patient contact as a result of the background study, and whose disqualification is not set aside by the Commissioner of Health, will not be permitted to participate in a clinical placement. Failure to participate in a clinical placement required by the academic program will result in the ineligibility to qualify for a degree in the program.

Students are required to have criminal background verification prior to participating in clinical experiences. Students will be directed to complete the appropriate form by program faculty, and Northland will apply for the study from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Criminal background studies are completed annually. The results of the criminal background study must be on file prior to beginning clinical rotations.

Important Considerations

  • Successful completion of a criminal background check (DHS qualification to provide direct patient contact) does not ensure eligibility for licensure or future employment within the chosen field. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the credentialing body for their program area (i.e., Board of Nursing, American Occupational Therapy Association, etc.) regarding specific eligibility requirements for credentialing.
  • Incoming students should initiate a background check ONLY upon direction from the program faculty.
  • No student will be permitted to participate in a clinical rotation until the College receives a “Background Study Clearance” report from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
  • Failure to qualify by the Department of Human Services background check may make it impossible for the program to provide a clinical site for required courses.
  • If a student is found to be ineligible for clinical placement at any time during the program, the student is unable to meet clinical learning objectives and may be withdrawn pending resolution of the situation.
  • Clinical agencies can establish more stringent standards, if they so desire, to meet regulatory requirements for their facility. Clinical agencies can conduct additional background checks at their discretion.

Additional information about the Minnesota Department of Human Services background study requirements can be found at Minnesota Department of Human Services Licensing.