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How Many Years is a Valid Background Check for a Nursing Agency?

Background checks for nursing agencies encompass 7 years of criminal and court records but can extend back even further based on federal and state regulations as well as what is getting investigated. Nursing background checks greatly increase the likelihood that the nurses you recruit are competent for their roles and have no sanctionable criminal convictions.

A nursing background investigation is a vetting service that can be used to confirm a person’s identity, employment record, schooling, as well as professional license. It might as well divulge a person’s criminal record, punishments, or drug use.

An appropriate nurse background screening test can assist state licensing, training institutes, as well as employers in making knowledgeable choices regarding who is best qualified to work in nursing roles.

Nursing background checks are essential to safeguard service users from potentially harmful candidates. As a result, nursing background checks may be significantly more thorough than standard background checks. Several employers might inspect the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) database.

A SAM background check may as well be required, according to the position, to verify for punishments or disbarments from government contracts or subcontracts. The Fraud Abuse Control Information System is a group of data sources that are constantly modified and contain different degrees of information to make sure that medical professionals are clean.

Specifications for a Healthcare Background Check

The specifications for a healthcare background check differ considerably on which agency intends to undertake them, the open role, as well as how meticulous the company requires the background check to be. Nonetheless, most healthcare-related background checks would include the following:

  1. National Criminal Investigation

National criminal investigations use extensive data sources to find criminal histories on a nationwide scale. These investigations sift through massive amounts of data spread all over multitudes of municipalities and datasets. In addition, the search analyzes offender registries across all 50 states, along with Guam, Puerto Rico, as well as Washington, DC.

  1. National Sex Offender Lookup

This is a simple but important aspect of a healthcare background check. The above queries retrieve information across all 50 states, in addition to U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. The challenge is to find individuals who have already been prosecuted and convicted of a sexual offense, or those who have pleaded “guilty” to a sexual offense.

In the United States currently, there are over 500,000 registered sex offenders. Because medical practitioners have constant interaction with children and susceptible adults, it is critical to conduct a nationwide sexual offender’s lookup on each candidate.

  1. Identity Verification Check

Identity verification checks to guarantee that the candidate is not lying about their identity. They furthermore guarantee that all resulting background check investigations evaluate the right person.

  1. Drug Testing

Drug testing is particularly essential in the medical field. Employers should understand whether the candidates they’re interviewing have a substance abuse record because most nursing staff have access to strong prescription medications. This is particularly important given the prevalence of drug use among healthcare professionals.

In fact, according to a research published in the journal Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 10%-12% of healthcare professionals employed in the United States have a substance abuse problem. Drug screenings, luckily, can expose addiction problems.

  1. Verification of Previous Employment and Education

Many positions in medicine necessitate a post-secondary degree or, at the very least, professional education and on-the-job expertise. Employment and education confirmation greatly increase the likelihood that the candidate is properly prepared for the task.

You would also be able to ascertain if the candidate was dismissed from a past workplace due to incompetence or another poor decision.

  1. Search for Federal Exclusions

A federal exclusion search gives employers direct connections to a U.S. Government list of medical professionals who are not eligible for federal funds. This search helps to identify applicants with a felony conviction who might be operating in healthcare and therefore would avert your institution from getting involved in federal funding programs such as Medicare.

  1. Additional Considerations

In accordance with the provision mentioned above, all roles, which would include nursing home staff background checks, will mandate healthcare sanctions (as well as possible future exemptions) to be evaluated at the federal and state level.

Eventually, regular checks must be used in all roles. This will notify the company if an engaged nurse was detained or disbarred while on the job.


For job background checks, the Fair Credit Reporting Act appears to apply to businesses in every state. The Federal Trade Commission enforces this legislation, which encompasses regulations for client reporting agencies on the kinds of data that can be requested as well as the time that the data is worth reporting. Many details can only be disclosed for 7 years under this act.