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.
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.
After a ProPublica investigation showing holes in New York’s system for licensing and disciplining nurses, the Legislature is considering measures to strengthen oversight.
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.
The governor said he was open to changes after a ProPublica investigation found dangerous gaps in the oversight of the state’s nurses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How easy does your state make it to investigate licensed nurses online?
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.
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.
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.