Temp Firms Keep Hiring Lousy Nurses They skimp on background checks in lucrative industry By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 5, 2009 3:07 PM CST 7 comments Comments An investigation finds serious lapses in the agencies that supply temporary nurses. (Shutter Stock) (Newser) – Agencies that supply hospitals with temporary nurses skimp on background checks and allow incompetent workers to move from one facility to the next, reports ProPublica. The reason? The nation's chronic shortage of nurses has created a lucrative $4 billion industry with little oversight. The investigation documents cases of nurses with long histories of complaints remaining in the industry, and in the worst cases falling asleep on the job, stealing drugs intended for patients, and failing to perform medical tests. "A lot of them are really bad nurses," said a nursing supervisor at two hospitals in California's San Fernando Valley. "Sometimes I see them here (at Northridge) and think, 'I wonder how long before I see them over' " at Sherman Oaks? Read the full investigation, done in tandem with the Los Angeles Times, here.