The state health department says workers at two nursing homes reportedly stole pain medication from their employers.
A licensed practical nurse in Fairbault allegedly stole Percocet. Another nurse in Inver Grove Heights is accused of stealing Oxycodone. Neither is named in the report.
In both cases the thefts were reported by nursing home managers. The state has not accused the nursing homes of wrongdoing.
The state nursing board disciplined the Inver Grove Heights nurse in four previous thefts that occurred before she was licensed in 2010, according to the health department.
License applicants are required to report any disciplinary action themselves — both to the board and potential employers.
Background check procedures need to be improved, said Shirley Brekken executive director of the nursing board.
"The board's mission is protection of the public through the regulation of nursing practice," Brekken said. "The board takes very seriously any cases of suspected or actual diversion of medications."
A new Minnesota law requires all state health licensing board to study ways to improve background checks for applicants and licensees.
"It requires the boards to study and develop procedures for the implementation of criminal background checks for applicants and licensees," Brekken said.