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Nurse Faces License Forfeiture After Taking Patients’ Drugs


When a person is sick or injured, they may need medication to feel better and heal. There are thousands of medications on the market to aid with pain relief, reduce the risk of infection, kill viruses and manage chronic conditions. When a person does not get the medication they need, they could experience a worsened condition and even die.

There are several ways in which a patient may not get the required medication. Maybe their doctor diagnosed them with the wrong medical condition. Perhaps they received the wrong medication or dosage due to an error.

This may seem like an unlikely situation but it’s really not. Drug diversion is common in the medical field, with many nurses, doctors and other medical staff addicted to painkillers. In fact, in early February, a former nurse from Iowa is expected to plead guilty to taking drugs from her patients. For her actions, the nurse got her license suspended and is expected to face other penalties.

The 33-year-old woman, who worked at an Iowa hospital from January 2016 to December 2018,  was indicted in U.S. District Court in December. She faces multiple counts of prescription drug abuse, including three counts of fraudulently acquiring a controlled substance. Several of the incidents occurred between October 1 and November 30, 2018. The nurse obtained morphine and fentanyl from the hospital pharmacy. She gave the patients their prescribed amounts and then used the excess to inject herself. She pretended she was discarding the leftover amount by refilling the syringe with saline.

Another incident occurred on December 10, 2018. The nurse took 75 milliliters of fentanyl from an intensive care patient and used a syringe to inject herself with the drug. She attempted to take more fentanyl from the patient later that day, but she inadvertently injected herself with a sedative instead.

Co-workers noticed her acting unusual, with slow speech and movements and glassy eyes. That same day, she submitted to a drug screen and tested positive for fentanyl and other drugs. She admitted to using the drugs while on duty.

In April 2019, her nursing license was suspended indefinitely. She is currently on probation and in order to get her license back, she must submit proof of completed treatment and proof of sobriety for a period of one year. If she is convicted, she must forfeit her nursing license. She could face four years of prison for each criminal charge.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer 

Nurses work in their chosen field to help those who are sick or injured. Given that they work with medications, they must act in an ethical manner at all times.

If you have a licensing or administrative matter, you need to protect your license and your future. Get help from Tampa nursing license lawyer David P. Rankin. He has helped nurses and other licensed professionals keep their licenses. To schedule a consultation, call (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form.