There are significant gaps in regulatory efforts nationwide to keep nurses from avoiding the consequences of misconduct by hopping across state lines, even with a 24-state compact created to help get good nurses to areas where they are needed most. Under the decade-old partnership, a license obtained in a nurse's home state allows access to work in the other compact states. But an investigation by the non-profit news organization ProPublica found that the pact also has allowed nurses with records of misconduct to put patients in jeopardy. In some cases, nurses have retained clean multistate licenses after at least one compact state had banned them. They have ignored their patients' needs, stolen their pain medication, forgotten crucial tests or missed changes in their condition, records show.