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N-95 Fit Testing (Policy SON-17)

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Effective Date

Fall 2022

Last Revision Date

October 2023

Responsible Party

School of Nursing Divisional Dean, Chief Nurse Administrator, Program Directors, faculty, staff, and students.

Scope and Audience

All School of Nursing faculty and students.

Additional Authority


1. Policy Purpose

Boise State School of Nursing students and faculty will be prepared to utilize respiratory personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators for clinical experiences.

2. Policy Statement

The School of Nursing will require annual fit-testing for National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved N95 respirator masks for students as required by the clinical facility in which they will be caring for patients and/or in the event of patient care conditions requiring global testing.

Fit-testing is required to ensure N95s and other filtering facepiece respirators can maintain an adequate seal to the wearer’s face during use.
After passing the Fit-test, students will be given at least one (1) appropriately sized respirator. Students must have at least one respirator available to them in the clinical setting at all times if caring for patients that require N95 precautions is permitted by the facility. They must use the respirator if clinically indicated per the clinical partner’s policies and guidelines.

Students must discard their respirator when it is damaged, visibly soiled, deformed, and according to the manufactures’ recommendations. After discarding a mask, students should request a replacement from the School of Nursing.

When students are unable to pass fit-testing on the equipment available within the School of Nursing, Clinical Placement Coordinator and course coordinator will be notified by the designated Fit-tester within the School of Nursing. The course coordinator will notify the assigned clinical faculty.

The Clinical Placement Coordinator and the clinical faculty will assist the student with the process specific to the clinical organization they are assigned in order to determine what respiratory personal protective equipment should be used by the student within the organization during their clinical experience, and the process for obtaining such equipment.

If a student does not have an N-95 respirator that has been appropriately fit-tested or does not have an N-95 equivalent such as a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) for their clinical experience, they may not care for patient(s) that require this protective equipment. If all patient(s) in the clinical setting require N-95 respirators or equivalent, the student will be sent home for the day. Students may not care for patient(s) who require an N-95 respirator or equivalent without appropriate protective equipment under any circumstances.

Faculty who teach in the clinical setting may be fit-tested and obtain N95 respirators within the School of Nursing or, if applicable, they may obtain annual fit testing and N95 respirators at the clinical agency they are affiliated with. Faculty must have appropriate respiratory personal protective equipment available to them when they are with students in the clinical setting. It is mandatory that faculty wear appropriate personal protective equipment (including N-95 respirators or equivalent) when required in the clinical setting.

Faculty and students should review clinical partner policies and procedures regarding the use of respiratory personal protective equipment within the clinical organization.



4. Related Information

Clinical Compliance (Policy SON-01)

Last Review Date

October 2023

Revision History

November 2022, October 2023