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Registered Nurse’s License Suspended for Stealing Drugs


Nurses and other licensed professionals are bound by ethics. Doing something that harms patients, such as stealing their drugs, can have harmful effects for not only the patient but the nurse as well.

Drug use—both recreational and prescription drugs—has become an epidemic. Overdoses happen on a daily basis. Some survive, while others die. Any type of drug use can lead to intoxication, which is why licensed professionals are punished so harshly.

A registered nurse in Florida recently lost his license when he was caught stealing drugs intended for patients. The Florida Department of Health recently implemented an Emergency Restriction Order (ERO) on the 43-year-old RN, who also worked as a director of nursing at Westminster Suncoast, a senior living facility in St. Petersburg.

Co-workers witnessed the man’s drug use. On November 8, they saw him in his office with a syringe on his desk and a phone charger cord wrapped around his arm. The man had been injecting himself with Ativan to deal with severe anxiety. His behavior mimicked that of someone who was impaired. The man left the facility, even though he was asked not to, and ended up causing a head-on crash. He was arrested for causing a DUI crash, a misdemeanor. He was released from jail after posting a $500 bond. The arrest affidavit described the man as having watery eyes, a dazed look on his face and slurred and mumbled speech.

Besides this incident, the man had a criminal background. He has two other DUI arrests in 2002. In 2006, he pled guilty to theft.

When talking to an addiction specialist, the man confessed to having a narcotics addiction. He said that the addiction had been a problem for the past seven years, and that he had diverted drugs such as Dilaudid from previous employers. While at Westminster Suncoast, he regularly stole Ativan, an anxiety drug, and oxycodone at least four times a week. The theft occurred between September and November 2018.

The man was diagnosed with multiple conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder, mild sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder, and severe opioid use disorder.

It was recommended that he enter a partial hospitalization form of treatment, enter a monitoring contract with the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) and continue individual therapy. The nurse did not follow these instructions, so on April 9, the IPN closed his file. On June 3, the ERO came down. 

Keep Your License with Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer 

A nurse who steals drugs from patients is not performing their professional duties in a competent manner. Nurses are supposed to care for others, not steal from them to feed addictions.

If you have lost your nursing license due to misconduct or criminal charges, you need to act quickly to protect your license. A license suspension or revocation can affect your ability to earn income. Seek legal help from Tampa nursing license lawyer David P. Rankin. He has helped nurses and other licensed professionals keep their licenses. Fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633 to schedule a consultation.