Blog

 
     

Nursing Agency Calling for Stronger Background Checks in Colorado

By Michael Klazema on 11/7/2016

The Colorado Nursing Agency says that it is "currently exploring options" that would improve nursing background checks in the state. Currently, per a report from 9News NBC in Denver, Colorado has no statewide policy that requires prospective nurses to go through background checks. Colorado is one of 14 states in the country that don't have such a requirement at the state licensure level.

The state's nursing background check policy made headlines this month when a news story broke about a young disabled girl being abused by her caretaker. Per the 9News NBC report, the victim is a 10-year-old girl who, due to a rare disability, has the cognitive abilities of a six-month-old child. The girl's parents worked with an agency to hire an in-home nurse who they believed would be capable of caring for their daughter's special needs.

The girl's mother noticed bruises on her daughter. She checked hidden cameras installed in her daughter's room to determine the cause of the injuries. The footage showed the nurse assaulting the patient.

The nurse is now facing two counts of third-degree assault against an at-risk victim. If convicted, she would have a felony record. However, per the 9News NBC report, that felony might not stop the woman from getting her nursing license back in the future. Her license is currently suspended and may be revoked entirely next spring when Colorado's Board of Nursing convenes for a hearing on the matter.

The nurse does not currently have a criminal record, so a background check would not have prevented her from obtaining a license in the first place. Since the Colorado Board of Nursing does not require license applicants to go through background checks, someone convicted of abusing a disabled person could feasibly get licensed in the state. The mother of the victim in this case called that fact "terrifying" and said that it "need[ed] to be changed."

Per the Executive Director of the Colorado Nursing Agency, a change might be on the way. The CNA is considering a state licensure policy that would require applicants to pass state and FBI background checks before getting their nursing licenses. The nursing association says it is exploring these options "with other Colorado healthcare providers." For nursing background checks to become a state policy, the legislature would have to get involved. Until that happens, it will be up to employers to run their own background checks on nurses.

Source: http://www.9news.com/news/crime/nurse-accused-of-assaulting-disabled-child/339957318

Industry News

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • January 11 — A firefighter in Tacoma, Washington died last summer of a drug overdose. A local newspaper is looking at the interview and screening process breakdowns that might have led to his hiring.
  • January 09 — “Ban the box” legislation has rapidly spread across the country, emerging as city or county ordinances and even as statewide laws. Now, however, an Indiana State Senator wants to ban “ban the box” ordinances in the state.
  • January 05 — Little League International, the organization behind Little League Baseball and Softball programs around the world, has instituted a new background check rule for United States programs. Under the new rule, all affiliated U.S. leagues will be required to run criminal background screenings on their volunteers.
  • January 03 — Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor has approved a law that gives animal shelters in the state the power to run background checks on potential pet adopters. The goal of the legislation is to keep pets out of the hands of known animal abusers.
  • December 29 — The State of Maryland has decided against new regulations that would have added fingerprint background checks and ongoing criminal monitoring for ridesharing companies. Such regulations would have made Maryland the first state to mandate fingerprint checks for ride-hailing services.
  • December 21 — The Department of Transportation is creating a new database to track drug and alcohol infractions for truckers and other commercial drivers. Employers will be required to report infractions to the database and run searches when filling positions that require a commercial driver’s license.
  • December 20 — The Mayor of Los Angeles recently signed into law an initiative that bans the box for private employers. The law also forces private employers to follow an eight-point list of considerations recommended by the EEOC before making any adverse employment decisions based on criminal history.
  • December 19 — In 2007, the 9/11 commission recommended terrorist watch list checks for mass transit employees, including rail and bus workers. That recommendation never became an official rule, but two U.S. Senators are pushing for deeper background checks for all mass transit employees.
  • December 13 — The University of Minnesota has elected to “ban the box” and remove about criminal history from its student admission applications. Prospective students will still be expected to self-disclose past sex offenses or academic dishonesty issues.
  • December 11 — A bus driver in Chattanooga, Tennessee recently crashed his bus into a tree, killing six children and injuring dozens more. The driver had been the subject of numerous complaints in the months and weeks leading up to the tragic incident.