Thought Leader Series: Senior Nursing Care Employees: Check Those Backgrounds!

Thought Leader Series: Senior Nursing Care Employees: Check Those Backgrounds!

Stephan Baldwin is the Director of Business Development for Assisted Living Center, an online directory of aging care communities.

Caring for an elderly person requires a special kind of professional. Family members are trusting these health care providers and nursing care employees with their parents, aunts, uncles and friends. They want to know that they are being taken care of in every aspect, from their health and medical needs to their social and emotional needs.


Carefully screening each employee will ensure that vulnerable senior residents are taken care of well.

On top of that, senior patients look to these caregivers for assistance, love and support during a new stage of their lives. It’s essential that the right candidates are hired to fulfill these nursing positions. An employment background check should be more than just a recommendation for these types of employees; it should be a necessity.

Nursing Care Background Check Requirements

There are both federal and state laws that require nursing care employees to undergo background checks before they are hired to work with senior patients.

While these laws exist and the purpose of these laws is to protect senior patients from being victimized while receiving care, many of the facilities that conduct these employment screenings only invest in the minimum level of screening required by law. This is largely because it can be costly to thoroughly screen each candidate for the job, but it’s essential for employers to recognize the importance of employee background checks in this field.

In addition to standard background check services, employers should invest in criminal background checks and other screening services to find the best possible candidate for the vacant position.

Importance of Additional Employee Screening Services

Additional background screening services shed light on the job candidate’s personality and habits. For instance, many senior health care providers simply look to see if the candidate has been in trouble with the law or has a history of abuse specifically with elderly patients. Focusing on these specific red flags can be a mistake, as other instances of abuse may lead a job candidate to victimize a senior citizen. A person who has a history of petty theft may not seem like the type who would victimize an elderly patient, but they may be prone to stealing personal items, valuables and money from patients.


Keeping residents safe is the first priority for a senior living community.

By thoroughly screening and vetting each candidate, you will be able to weed out potential abusers and focus on candidates who will truly value their position within the facility.

Understanding Elder Abuse

Elder abuse encompasses more than just physical and verbal abuse of senior patients. It is critical that caregivers and hiring managers recognize different types of abuse. Financial abuse of elderly patients is common, and it’s often the least recognized form of abuse. In addition, emotional abuse of senior patients is a growing problem. By recognizing the different forms of elder abuse, hiring managers can analyze screening reports to avoid candidates who seem likely to engage in abuse or neglect.

Hiring managers and HR professionals looking to fill vacant senior nursing care positions should take the time and effort necessary to find the right candidate for the job. This goes beyond finding an employee who has a good personality and appears willing to work with elderly patients. It requires hiring professionals to conduct an employment background check that digs deeper and unveils a person who is in good standing with the law and who has the necessary credentials and dedication to thrive in the position.

This is the only way to prevent elder abuse at the hands of employees at senior living facilities and health care centers.

Not sure if your background checks are thorough enough? Request a free background check trial today!