Healthcare facilities in New Jersey now must share with prospective employers information about incompetent or potentially criminal employees and will face monetary penalties if they don't. The Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act, signed into law by the state's acting governor, was created to prevent serial bad hires such as Charles Cullen, a former nurse who confessed to dozens of murders at a string of hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The law protects healthcare facilities from lawsuits and legal liability, provided the information shared with prospective employers is germane to patient care and safety, said state Sen. Joseph Vitale, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation. It also requires criminal background checks as a condition of re-licensure for all healthcare employees involved in direct patient care. The New Jersey Hospital Association applauded the law, saying it protects the safety of patients while recognizing the rights of nurses and other healthcare practitioners. -- by Cinda Becker
N.J. changes employment law to prevent serial bad hires
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