First of all, anyone can use Tennessee's public records law to ask for documents from a state or local government agency. You can ask to see police arrest records, court records, spending records and the like.
You can invoke the law by going to a government official, stating orally or in writing that you are making a public records request.
To read more about how to use the law, check out this Open Government Guide prepared by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Search the Department of Commerce's licensed professionals lists -- such as accountants, real estate agents, contractors, security guards, cosmetologists, pharmacists, private investigators, etc. -- to see if someone is licensed.
How does a nursing home compare to other such facilities? Go to the federal government's Nursing Home Compare website.
Is a hospital or other health care facility accredited? Click here to find out. (Accreditation is considered by many industry experts to be relatively easy to obtain, so it would be more interesting if the facility is not accredited.)
Search for information on the backgrounds, including disciplinary history, of Tennessee health professionals (such as doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.)
Google is probably the best, but don't limit yourself just to it; even Google has its limits. Other good options are: MSN Search and Dogpile. Take the time to read the instructions on how to frame your searches. It will help you develop more effective searches.