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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

State Education Department
Oversight of Nurse Licensing (Follow-Up)


Issued: October 15, 2019
Link to full audit report 2019-F-26

Objective
To determine the extent of implementation of the three recommendations included in our initial audit report, Oversight of Nurse Licensing (Report 2016-S-83).

About the Program
Our initial audit report, which was issued on September 29, 2017, determined whether the State Education Department (Department) independently verifies information submitted by nursing license applicants; monitors nurses once they are licensed utilizing available criminal and misconduct data; and investigates complaints against nurses in accordance with its policies and procedures in a timely manner. The audit covered the period April 1, 2014 through April 18, 2017. Our initial audit found the Department was challenged to ensure investigations, particularly Priority 1 complaints (complaints that pose a substantial danger to public health and safety), were completed timely. We also found the Department did not take proactive steps to check applicants’ backgrounds in relation to required moral character standards and did not actively monitor nurses to identify incidents of professional misconduct or criminal convictions. Finally, during the original audit, Department officials stated resources have not kept pace with increased expectations. They stated an out-of-date computer system and reduced staffing have led to investigation backlogs and difficulties using available data to monitor and manage investigations.

Key Finding

  • Department officials have made some progress in addressing the issues identified in our initial audit. Of the initial report’s three recommendations, all three were partially implemented.

Key Recommendation

  • Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Stephen Goss
Phone:(518) 474-3271: Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236