14. That’s the number of consecutive years nurses have been ranked as the most trusted and ethical profession by the Gallup poll.
1 Nurses lead other professions by a wide margin. In 2015, 85 percent of Americans voted nurses as having “very high” honest and ethical standards. The next highest profession, also in healthcare, was rated at 68 percent while some professions were given ratings as low as 7 and 8 percent.
Nurses’ high standards could be why six states3 do not require facilities to run background checks for this role, but not conducting a screening is a poor safety practice. Though most nurses are trustworthy, criminal background checks ensure facilities are hiring nurses with clear histories. Facilities in Colorado, Wisconsin, Maine, New York, Vermont, and Hawaii need to go above their state’s minimum standard requirements to ensure a safe and healthcare experience for patients.
Even if your hospital is in one of the 44 states that do require background checks, you must still exercise caution. A licensed nurse is not always a safe nurse. “Colorado is part of a 24-state compact that allows nurseslicensed in one state to work in other states.”4 This loophole enabled one convicted sex offender to obtain his license in Colorado and then work for more than 10 years as a traveling nurse.
As your managed services partner in compliance, IntelliCentrics ensures that your facility is following the highest compliance and credentialing standards. Nurses who break the law are bad business for the facilities who hire them, the patients they are supposed to protect, and the reputation of honest and ethical nurses. It in the best interest of the healthcare industry and our communities to make sure dishonest nurses cannot take advantage of their positions of trust. As an industry, we all play a role in safeguarding patients. Together, we can make sure nursing continues as the most trusted and ethical profession.