Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Real Estate & Administrative Lawyer

Schedule a Consultation


Nurse Steals Fentanyl, Gets License Suspended, Jail Time


When you think of a nurse getting their license suspended, patient abuse may be the first thing that comes to mind. While this act can lead to license suspension and revocation, there are other ethical issues that threaten one’s professional license. Theft is one of them.

Nurses and other medical professionals are privileged in that they have access to a wide variety of drugs and medical supplies. These are for the patients, though, and must be used responsibly. Nurses legally cannot use these drugs and supplies for their own use. However, many nurses in Florida and across the country do and face serious penalties.

This was the case for a nurse in Nebraska. The 31-year-old nurse had her license suspended, in addition to receiving probation and jail time, for stealing fentanyl, a potent drug. She received her sentencing on December 4 after pleading guilty to acquiring controlled substances by fraud.

The nurse was taking the fentanyl from Bryan West Campus, the hospital she worked at in Lincoln, Nebraska. She began taking 2 millimeter vials of the drug in November 2017. One time, she took off the caps from the vials, removed the fentanyl, replaced it with saline and glued the caps back on.

The missing vials were discovered in January. It was determined that the vials went missing while under the nurse’s supervision. The nurse quit her job before she was arrested. Her nursing license was suspended in April. She faces a one-year suspension. Besides the suspension, the nurse also faces a week of jail and two years of probation.

Drug Diversion

Drug diversion is common in the health care industry. Drug diversion refers to the transfer of drugs from a legal channel to an illegal channel. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are linked to diversion.

Why does diversion occur? To feed addiction. Hospitals house all types of drugs, especially potent ones that lead to addiction. That is why medical facilities need to have procedures in place to prevent diversion.

Diversion has negative consequences for all involved. Diversion takes drugs away from someone who truly needs them and instead gives these drugs to someone who does not need them for a legitimate medical purpose. This means that one person can end ups sicker from not getting their required medication. For the person who diverts the drugs, they can overdose, causing them to become extremely ill or even die.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer

There are many ways in which a nurse can lose his or her license. It is important to understand how ethics play a role and what a licensed professional can do to hold onto their license.

If you are a nurse facing legal issues, you need help right away. Your license is your livelihood. The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help you hold onto your license He boasts three decades of experience helping Florida nurses and other licensed professionals keep their licenses. Schedule a consultation by calling (813) 968-6633 or filling out the online form.