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Calif. finds 3,500 nurses were disciplined elsewhere

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

California’s nursing board has confirmed what fans of Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber’s disciplined caregivers series for ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times already suspected, that about 3,500 California nurses had clean records there despite being disciplined in other states. You can find Ornstein and Weber’s report on these developments at ProPublica or the LA Times.

After last year’s report by ProPublica and The Times, California ran its list of 376,000 active and inactive nurses against a database maintained by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, to which nearly all states voluntarily report their disciplinary actions. Among the matches were nurses who had been disciplined by multiple states, sometimes for the same incident.

California officials said they couldn’t disclose the names of any nurses who turned up in the search until a formal disciplinary charge is filed. While those cases are pending, the nurses remain free to practice in California.

Of the 3,500 nurses whose records matched, “as many as 2,000 … will face discipline in California, officials estimate,” Ornstein and Weber write. “That’s more registered nurses than the state has sanctioned in the last four years combined.”