Bad Nurses Dodge Checkered Past By Moving To New States

Naughty nurses, sanctioned for things like stealing prescription painkillers or missing critical tests for their patients, are able to jump to new jobs from state to state thanks to gaps in the regulatory framework and lack of information sharing, a new ProPublica report finds.

Troubled Nurses Skip from State to State Under Compact [ProPublica]


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  1. digital0verdose says:

    ROFL, nice picture choice for the article. I believe you just got an internet point Ben.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I got deja vu and then I found this post (complete with Nurse Joker). Before anyone thinks this is a repeat, though, the ProPublica article is a lot more detailed and the examples are of people who commited much, much more egregious violations, like administering the wrong medication, which led to a patient death. That person is still a nurse!

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      Thanks! I almost didn’t read it because I did think it was a repeat!

    • Firethorn says:

      I’d argue that once a doctor or a nurse, always a doctor or a nurse. Why? Because you can’t take away the training, the certification.

      What you can do is bar them from practice,

  3. wbeem says:

    Cops do the same thing, but sometimes they only have to move to the next town or county.

  4. Angus99 says:

    Why so serious?

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    “Update: Nurses moving from state to state, to hide their checkered pasts, result in a boost in home sales/purchases. Home market saved by shady nurses.”

  6. Bativac says:

    I have noticed, locally, an increase in the number of psychotic disfigured villains masquerading as nurses. They gravitate towards mentally unstable, physically disfigured patients.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      I’ll take that as an opportunity to quote myself from the other article.
      “Oh, you haven’t lived until you’ve had wild sex with a mental patient.”

  7. c!tizen says:

    If only there was a way to instantly communicate with people in two geographical locations; a way to share things like employment files, or criminal records; a way to create, maintain, and access a central repository for licensed nurses and doctors to see when they were hired, how well they perform their jobs, and if they were terminated, why they were terminated.

    If only there was a machine, of some sort that could be used to… compute encrypted information; a machine so simple that they are readily available to even the general public. And if only there were a type of network that these machines could plug into to share repository described above. If only we could think more like Al Gore, if only. Oh well, we’d probably just use it to share funny pictures of cats and search for pornography.

  8. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Great article and the commentary is good too. Weird how they mention that California recently found out that 3,500 of its nurses have been disciplined in other states. Perhaps if California would join the compact the number would be lower. But then, CA charges other states for nurses records.

    Yesterday, I saw a nurse arrested, in CA. The large hospital she worked at gathers naive nurses from all around the country then abuses them as much as possible. I don’t think a single nurse there ever renewed the contract. Every nurse is pissed off, overworked, powerless and underpaid (cost of living here more than negates any increase in pay they think they will be getting). They seem to all agree it’s the worst hospital any of them have worked at. I’ve told the ambulance paramedics to take me “anywhere but there” even though I was bleeding to death.

  9. CherieBerry says:

    My brother-in-law is the sweetest RN in the world, but dumb as fuck. He screwed up pretty badly several times on medication dispensing equipment that is said to be fool-proof. He was fired and couldn’t find employment anywhere. A travel nursing company sent him to a Reservation as a government contractor — and gave him huge bonuses. Now, he bounces around to the different Reservations. Haven’t Native Americans suffered enough?

  10. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Love the picture!

  11. Akuma X says:

    I personally know 4 nurses. One is addicted to drugs and an alcoholic that has been ordered to attend psychiatric evaluations but stopped going. Luckily she doesn’t work at the moment but is getting by on money from a heart surgeon that she is having an affair with that is older than her father and is married. Another is an alcoholic and drug user and was literally flabbergasted that the hospital sent her home just because she showed up to work drunk; because the hospital she worked at in New York always let her. The third was let go from her job here in Central Florida for ongoing relations with a patient in the hospital even after her direct supervisor told her 3 times, on 3 separate occasions to not go near the patient. The fourth recently graduated nursing school and has been a nurse now for a year or so but seems to be “normal”.

    • misslisa says:

      Wow, I thought I was the only one who had one of those in the family. My cousin is an LPN who not only smokes pot daily but has lost all her teeth to crystal meth. If you’re ever hospitalized in Louisville KY and a tweaker nurse with false teeth comes to your aid, run!

  12. italianbaby says:

    same could be said of doctors and attorneys with checkered pasts that move from state to state.

  13. Elvisisdead says:

    The Feds track them at You can find out more info about the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities at:

    However, having worked with this program, I can definitely say that people do move in order to avoid exclusions. I can also say that it’s only a matter of time until they are found. A very short period of time, unless they go cash-only and never work in healthcare again. Even then, though, they will be found pretty quickly.

  14. dg says:

    Sounds like they’re learning the tricks of the trade from Doctors and long-haul commercial truckers…

    Time for a Federal Database of registered nurses and LPN’s…. Get canned for something illegal in one State = you’re done…

  15. OnePumpChump says:

    Just a reminder, the United States has the best health care system in the world.

  16. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Or spread Hepatitis C to patients across a hospital…

    (Okay, actually a surgery tech, but same issue)

  17. pot_roast says:

    I’m surprised that this is still going on, and from what I’ve read California of all places was really bad about it. In order to move my EMT certification from one state to another, I had to fill out a small pile of paperwork and undergo another background check & fingerprints. But they’re not requiring the same of nurses? That’s strange…

  18. NickelMD says:

    I work in an ER and we have frequent travelers (travel nurses). There are basically two kinds: 1) those who are great nurses who can work anywhere you throw them in and are travelers because they like to go new places and the pay is better. 2) People because of personality problems, laziness, incompetence, or general douchebaggery can’t hold a single job for more than 6 weeks before they burn every single bridge possible.

    Unfortunately you may not be able to figure out which kind they are till they royally eff something up or poke a stick into a hornets nest.

    On the contrary though, staff nurses who are full time or per diem regulars (i.e. non-travelers employed by the hospital) are generally more stable. They may not be the best nurses in the universe, but they are good enough that the hospital keeps them on over time.