Background Checks for Nursing Students: What Are Schools Doing?

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Along with concerns about terrorism, American institutions are increasingly focused on public safety and protection. In health care, the intense value placed on safety is manifest in recent literature published by the Institute of Medicine and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO)(1,2). To protect the public, many state boards of nursing (SBON) now require criminal background checks before granting a nursing license, and those that do not require a full background check do require self-disclosure of any criminal background (3). In addition, regulatory and accrediting agencies have begun to request background checks for people who deliver care to clients(4).

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