Nurses’ Promise to Safeguard the Public: Is It Time for Nationally Mandated Background Checks?

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A historical perspective on healthcare regulation is provided along with the details of the process of fingerprinting and background checks. Issues are raised concerning the validity and reliability of background checks. Information on the status of the individual states is provided by means of a chart and a discussion ensues regarding the rationalization for requiring background checks and fingerprinting. Finally, questions and recommendations are posed regarding making background checks a requirement for licensure and/or entry into nursing schools.