California Nursing Board OKs New Fingerprinting Requirement
On Thursday, the California Board of Registered Nursing unanimously approved emergency regulations requiring all nurses to submit fingerprints as part of the state licensing process, in hopes of identifying nurses with criminal histories, the Los Angeles Times reports.Â
The regulations are pending approval from the state's Office of Administrative Law.Â
The new rules were sparked by an investigation by the Times and ProPublica that identified more than 115 cases since 2002 in which the nursing board did not take action against nurses with criminal records until they had accumulated at least three convictions (Ornstein/Weber, Los Angeles Times, 10/24).
In response to the published reports, the board last week said it would immediately begin asking nurses if they have ever been convicted of a crime when they renew their licenses (California Healthline, 10/14).
If approved, nurses will have to submit fingerprints when they renew their licenses starting in March.
The rules would most substantially affect nurses licensed before 1990, when the board first began requiring new applicants to provide fingerprints.
The board's executive director said the agency will add eight new positions to its enforcement program to deal with new information generated by the rules (Los Angeles Times, 10/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.