Non-Fairview Employed Research Staff (NERS)

In compliance with The Joint Commission's requirements and Fairview policies, non-Fairview employed research staff must complete the NERS application process to obtain approval for conducting research tasks in Fairview facilities and systems, unless otherwise noted as exempt from this policy. In addition, NERS applicants who have completed the approval process are required to complete the renewal process annually for continued access to Fairview's patient care areas and systems.


Initial NERS Application

This application must be filled out before you begin your research at Fairview, and should be updated as needed throughout your employment.

NERS application - must be included with all applications
The following checklists may be used for reference to ensure all required materials are submitted. We recommend submitting a completed application instead of sending sections at separate times.
  • Health Record Review Only - This checklist is for those that need access to view information in Fairview's Electronic Medical Record System (Epic) 
  • No Patient Contact - This checklist is for those performing research tasks within Epic (Entering Research Consent, Associating Patients to Research Studies, Linking Research Encounters, etc). They will not have physical contact with patients or work with Fairview hospitals or clinics.
  • Patient Contact - This checklist is for those interacting with patients within Fairview, but are not performing any invasive or treatment-based patient care activities.
  • Patient Intervention - This checklist is for those interacting with patients with Fairview in the role of a research care provider, such as a nurse or medical assistant. A current license or certification is needed to perform these tasks.

Training Materials
All required learning will need to be completed before you receive you NERS approval, which includes your Fairview system log in information
  1. You will need to email to request access to Fairview's Learning Management System (LMS). Your email to FRA should include the following information:Name, Email, Department you will be doing research in, and NERS category that you will be applying for (NERS Health Record View Only, NERS No Patient Contact, NERS Patient Contact, NERS Patient Intervention).
  2. Fairview Research Administration will assign you the required learning modules in LMS that you are required to complete based on which NERS category best suites your research role. (Required learning is listed on your initial NERS application under Research tasks) 
  3. You will receive an email with your LMS log in information (user name and password) along with the link to LMS to complete your learning modules.
Additional Forms

NERS collaborates with the University of Minnesota Office of Occupational Health and Safety to ensure the occupational health needs of applicable employees are met. Applicants who interact with patients are required to submit documentation of immunizations to UMN OHS. The following provides guidance of required documentation:
Submit forms and records to Fairview Research Administration by mail, fax or e-mail:
Fairview Research Administration
2344 Energy Park Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55108
Fax: 612-672-7691
NERS Approval
Once ALL requirements are met, we will send you and your advisor an approval letter stating your approval period and approved research functions. The form needed for obtaining a Fairview badge will be included with this letter. 

NERS Renewal Application

NERS approval must be renewed annually. Please make sure to address any changes in your research role at this time. As a reminder, approval only authorizes you to be in the Fairview systems and departments you note on your application. This includes being limited to the patient care tasks you selected on the application. 

We will send reminder emails around 30 days and 15 days before your approval expiration date, but it is your responsibility to meet all renewal requirements by that date. If your approval does lapse, you will be inactivated in all Fairview applications. Fairview Security will be informed to inactivate your badge on that day.

Requirements (All NERS Renewal applications)
Additional Requirements (NERS Patient Contact and Patient Intervention Only)
Submit forms and records to Fairview Research Administration by mail, fax or email
Fairview Research Administration
2344 Energy Park Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55108
Fax: 612-672-7691
Renewed NERS Approval
Once we have received and processed all your required documents, we will send you and your supervisor an approval letter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of NERS?
In any hospital or clinic, the only personnel that are able to care for or interact with patients are those that are either employed by the hospital, or are credentialed providers for that hospital. Since Fairview and the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC) are collaborators, there are many University of Minnesota employees whose responsibilities are to perform research in Fairview. Fairview only credentials advanced practitioners, so there was no process for University of Minnesota employees to access Fairview resources or patients legitimately.

In 2006, Fairview Research Administration (FRA) developed the Non-Fairview Employed Research Staff policy. Through this policy, researchers can be approved by FRA to access Fairview resources. As part of the policy, FRA will confirm that the researchers have accomplished the hiring and training requirements similar to Fairview employees or credentialed staff.

What tasks do I need to check off on the application?
You only need to check the task and complete the corresponding training requirements for research tasks you are completing within Fairview, or using Fairview systems. This applies even if you are following Fairview patients at non-Fairview sites. The tasks you select will be listed on your approval letter, and you will only be allowed to perform those tasks while working within Fairview.

Situation 1: I draw participants’ blood at a University location (e.g. CTSI, MCRU), but I look up the results in EPIC.
You should only mark that you are reviewing medical records, because you are not drawing blood inside Fairview. You only need to complete the ‘No Patient Contact’ requirements.

Situation 2:
I consent subjects in a Fairview clinic, but the rest of the study visits take place outside of Fairview.
You should mark that you will be obtaining informed consent, and complete the ‘Patient Contact’ requirements.

What should I do if I change jobs or my job responsibilities change?
If your research role changes, you must submit a new application detailing all the changes, and providing new contact information. On the application, you fill out where within Fairview you will be performing research, and what tasks you will be performing. When you receive approval, you are only approved to do research in these places, and doing these tasks. It is not a blanket approval.

I’m only reviewing medical records for research, and I already have access to Fairview medical record systems from my department. Do I need to go through NERS?
If your employment is solely for research purposes, and you are not a credentialed Fairview provider, the NERS process is the only way for you to access Fairview resources legitimately. If you have access, but do not know how you got it, you should contact FRA immediately.
If you continue to access the medical record without NERS approval, you are placing yourself at risk. Both Fairview and the AHC are very serious about enforcing privacy policies, and if you are not known as a legitimate user of the medical record you may be subject to disciplinary action.

What occupational health requirements apply?
Your occupational health requirements are determined by your employer. FRA will confirm your employer's occupational health policies align with Fairview's before you may access Fairview patients.
If you are employed by or working on behalf of the University of Minnesota, FRA will notify UMN Office of Occupational Health and Safety (UOHS) when you submit a NERS application. You are responsible for sending them the required documentation. If you have questions, please contact UOHS at or 612-626-5008.

How do applicants obtain a Fairview Badge?
If you will be performing research inside of Fairview, you must apply for a Fairview badge. This requires a background check. The background check forms are available on our website. Please fill these out and submit them with your complete application. FRA will forward this information to Fairview Human Resources (HR), who will perform the background check.

If this screen reveals that you are not eligible to interact with Fairview patients, you will be notified. In this situation, the ruling of HR not to permit you to work at Fairview is final.

If this screen reveals that you are eligible, and you have completed all other approval requirements, FRA will send you the necessary security form to receive a badge. You will receive this with your NERS approval letter.

Applicants will need to bring the security form, along with two forms of identification (i.e. driver’s license and University employee badge) to the Security Office. Applicants should not sign the form until they present it to the Security staff to obtain a badge.

University of Minnesota Medical Center, Security Offices are located at the following locations:
East Bank: Mayo B-340
West Bank: M141 in the East Building

How long does NERS approval last?
NERS approval is effective for one year after the date you were approved (stated on your approval letter). FRA will send you an email reminder 30 days and 15 days before your approval expires. If we do not receive your renewal application by the day your approval lapses, your status will be inactivated. You will need to submit a new application to receive further approval.
Contact Information for questions or concerns:
Phone: 612-672-7690 or 612-672-7647



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