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When Caregivers Harm

America’s Unwatched Nurses

California nurses accused of serious wrongdoing have often been left free to practice for years while their cases were being investigated — with patients unaware of the danger. And the problem goes beyond California: Many health workers who are disciplined in one state simply move to another and start with a clean license.

State Audit Slams New York’s Oversight of Nurses

Echoing the findings of a 2016 ProPublica investigation, New York’s comptroller says the state does not investigate complaints swiftly and lets nurses with criminal records retain their licenses.

New York Lawmakers Race to Toughen Oversight of Nurses and Other Professionals

After a ProPublica investigation showing holes in New York’s system for licensing and disciplining nurses, the Legislature is considering measures to strengthen oversight.

NY Lawmakers Discuss Tougher Oversight for Nurses

Legislators are looking for ways to close gaps exposed by a recent ProPublica investigation. New York does less than other states to check nurses’ criminal backgrounds and often is slow to discipline licensees for lapses in care.

Cuomo Floats Reforming Oversight of New York Nurses

The governor said he was open to changes after a ProPublica investigation found dangerous gaps in the oversight of the state’s nurses.

Weak Oversight Lets Dangerous Nurses Work in New York

New York lags behind other states in vetting nurses and moving to discipline those who are incompetent or commit crimes. Often, even those disciplined by other states or New York agencies hold clear licenses.

Troubled Health-Care Staffing Chain Settles With Government for $150 Million

Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc. had been accused of submitting false bills to federal and state health programs. An earlier ProPublica investigation found that the company had hired several nurses despite a history of problems.

States Fail to Report Disciplined Caregivers to Federal Database

Hundreds of state agencies have failed to tell the federal government about health professionals they disciplined, ProPublica has learned, meaning frontline workers who have a record of on-the-job misconduct, incompetence or criminal acts aren't flagged to potential employers.

Troubled Nurses Skip from State to State Under Compact

A 24-state compact has provided cover for nurses suspected of negligence or misconduct, leaving them free to work across nearly half the country and potentially put patients in jeopardy.

California Eyes Discipline for 2,000 Nurses Sanctioned by Other States

After ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times found hundreds of California nurses had been sanctioned elsewhere for neglect, drug use and criminal conduct, the state’s nursing board ran checks that uncovered thousands of similar cases.

When Caregivers Harm: The Story So Far

Union Pressure Exacts a Toll on California Bill to Overhaul Health Care Oversight

A bill to overhaul the disciplinary process for California’s nearly 1 million health professionals has run into strong opposition from labor unions. A Senate committee has postponed a vote on the legislation, and the bill's author has agreed to drop some provisions.

Unions Take Fire at Bill to Revamp California Health Care Oversight

Labor unions representing California nurses are attacking key parts of a bill that would overhaul the state’s system for investigating and disciplining health workers accused of misconduct.

Feds Reassign Heads of Troubled Caregivers Database

ProPublica recently reported that a national database on dangerous health professionals was likely missing thousands of disciplinary cases. Now the management team overseeing the database has been removed.

Tracking Nurses -- What You Need to Know

How easy does your state make it to investigate licensed nurses online?

Introducing Our State-by-State Guide to Dangerous Nurses

Some states have failed to adequately report disciplinary actions against health professionals to a federal database. To help, ProPublica is providing a look at which states offer online information about nurses' licenses and discipline.

Dozens of Criminal Registered Nurses Identified by California Regulators

Fingerprint checks of thousands of California nurses not previously subject to background checks have turned up dozens of convictions of crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. The checks are now required in part because of investigations by ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times.

Calif. Registered Nursing Board Follows Up on Our Nurses Stories

The California Board of Registered Nursing has taken actions against nurses featured in a series of stories by ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times. Among the actions were revocations and suspensions of licenses.

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