A report from ProPublica and The Los Angeles Times shows that hospitals may be using temporary RNs who are unqualified because of poor screening by staffing firms.
The report shows that many nurses with criminal histories, histories of poor performance, and improper credentials were able to acquire employment with a hospital because the staffing agency failed to perform a thorough background check or listen to warnings from other facilities. Some nurses were able to avoid being caught with unfit qualifications by moving to a new hospital before an investigation into their performance background could be performed.
Some attribute the rise in unqualified nurses to the nursing shortage. With hospitals needing to quickly hire nurses to meet their staffing needs, some facilities are relying solely on the background check performed by the staffing agency, without performing their own check.
While there are many quality temporary staffing agencies out there, this should also serve as a call to hospitals to do their due diligence when working with one. Your facility should always try to verify the credentials of temporary nursing staff. If this is not possible, then make sure that the staffing agency you work with has a proper credentialing system in place.
There may be a staffing shortage, but it is better to take the time to hire quality staff, than to meet staffing numbers with unqualified individuals.
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Source: The Los Angeles Times