Criminal Background Checks in Nursing: Safeguarding the Public?

Criminal background checks are believed to protect employers from negligent hiring liability, and while not necessarily good indicators of character or ability, they provide the sense that a 'safe and secure environment for patients and staff' has been fostered. This brief overview of how criminal background checks are used in the nursing industry hiring process explains why licensing boards think background checks are necessary and discusses the need for nursing employers to develop non-discriminatory hiring practices, including assessing applicants on an individual basis and reasonably determining whether the specific criminal record will impact job performance.


Philipsen, N., Murray, T. L., Belgrave, L., Bell-Hawkins, A., Robinson, V., & Watties-Daniels, D. (2012). Criminal Background Checks in Nursing: Safeguarding the Public? The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 8(9), 707–711. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2012.07.033

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Open Access Source: https://booksc.org/book/20187639/3b591d