Background check for nursing students


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The states of Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin do not require any type of criminal record checks for nurses to be licensed. Colorado recently made news headlines for its lack of protections for the public when dealing with nurse licensing. Osher comments in his article for The Denver Post.

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The Denver Post found dozens of Colorado cases in which nurses or applicants failed to reveal convictions and continued working in the state, according to the article. This investigation is one example of the impact of this loophole and why many hospitals and employers choose to run their own background checks. Only 45 state medical boards conduct criminal background checks as a condition of initial licensure, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards. There are 15 states and two territories that do not conduct background checks upon licensure:.

Nurses have convictions just like anyone else

The background check loopholes are more significant for physicians than they are for nurses. While states are working to close the loophole, there are a few more considerations for healthcare employers.

criminal background check - Licensure: Criminal History - allnurses

First, how accurate are the background checks state boards are conducting? In other words, will records from a background check be accurate and up-to-date two, five, or ten years later? According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, 39 state medical boards require fingerprints as a condition of licensure and 43 state medical boards have access to the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI database. Human resources and employment screening experts, however, have scrutinized the quality and accuracy of FBI fingerprint background checks.

FBI and State Criminal Background Check

Conducting pre-employment criminal background checks is important for mitigating risk. For medical staff services departments, conducting physician background checks before appointment is much important, considering the many medical boards that do not conduct checks as a condition of licensure.


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As a best practice, therefore, healthcare organizations should perform continual, routine background checks on their medical staff and employees. Felonies typically have restricted admission for a 10—15 year period from the time of completion of sentence and all probation time served.


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  • Misdemeanors vary in the severity of the crime and the time frame a student would be excluded from placement in a health care setting. Misdemeanor guidelines do not require completion of probation time in the exclusion time period. Any pre-nursing student planning to transfer a pharmacology class to NMC, please contact the Nursing Department prior to registering for any non-NMC pharmacology class.

    Criminal Background Checks Criminal background checks are now required on all students entering the Associate Degree in Nursing and the Practical Nursing programs.

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