August 3, 2016

State Disciplines Seven Nurses, Reinstates Two Licenses

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The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined seven nurses Wednesday and reinstated the licenses of two nurses who had histories of drug abuse.

The board reinstated the license of Sara Kaiser of Cromwell, a licensed practical nurse whose license was revoked in 2010 because of her abuse of heroin and morphine in 2009. In 2009, the board had placed her license on probation for four years after she admitted stealing Seroquel, a drug used to treat mood disorders, while working at the Elm Hill Nursing Center in Rocky Hill in 2007, records show.

State records show she also admitted failing to accurately document medical records and abusing heroin and cocaine from 2002 to 2007.

At a hearing in July, Kaiser presented testimony on her sobriety and that she was safe to practice as a nurse. Board members told her they were moved and impressed by her testimony.

The board also voted to reinstate the license of Mary K. Field, an RN from Burlington, who, records show, abused the anti-anxiety drug Xanax to excess in November 2015 in violation of an earlier probation. In 2015, the board had placed her license on a four-year probation, saying she had used hydrocodone, an opioid painkiller, in excess in 2013.

During a hearing, Field denied taking the Xanax but said that she regularly attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings, records show. Based on that, the board reinstated her license and ordered her to complete the rest of her probation and to take random drug tests.

The board also revoked the license of RN Judy Ruggiero of Orange, who in 2014, improperly removed controlled substances from Orange Health Care while working there as a nurse, state records show. In 2011, the board had placed her license on probation for four years after finding that she abused controlled substances and alcohol, records show.

Ruggiero failed to inform DPH when she took a nursing job at Astoria Park nursing home in Bridgeport, and while there in 2015, she showed an acute change in her mental health, records show.

The board revoked the advanced practice registered nurse license of Arlene Dumais of Preston, who was accused of practicing in 2015 while her license had been suspended. In a separate action, it placed her registered nursing license on a one-year probation and barred her from providing home care during that time.

The board also summarily suspended the license of LPN Adam Burr of New Britain, who on Feb. 18 was intoxicated while working for PSA Healthcare of Plainville doing care in a patient’s home, state records show.

The statement of charges against Burr said his abuse of alcohol and an emotional disorder or mental illness he has suffered from since 2013 are affecting his ability to practice nursing.

The board also summarily suspended the license of LPN Danielle Dragon of Bristol, who was accused of crushing a pill that she said was Oxycodone but was tested and found to be Tylenol. In April, the board had placed her license on probation for one year.

Lourdes Mercado, an LPN from Willimantic, had her license reprimanded and placed on probation for three years. State records show that in 2015, while working as an LPN at Salmon Brook Health Care in Glastonbury, she took Oxycodone tablets intended for six patients under her care and failed to accurately document medical records. The patients tested negative for Oxycodone, records show.

The board also placed the license of RN Jasmine Rivera Gonzalez of Beacon Falls on probation for six months.

State records show that while working at Bridgeport Hospital, she failed to document the waste of controlled substances in 2014. DPH records also show that she has suffered from an emotional disorder or mental illness since 2014.

After a hearing and a review of letters from patients and job evaluations, the board concluded that Gonzalez, also known as Jasmine Rivera, has taken steps to improve her documentation of the medications she administers and that her emotional disorder is not affecting her ability to practice as a nurse, records show.

The board placed the license of Zachary Boisselle, an RN from Rumford, Rhode Island, who now lives in Connecticut, on probation for nine months. Records show that in 2004, he was convicted of impaired driving in Greenville, North Carolina. In 2012, he was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Scottsdale, Arizona, and in 2015, his license to practice as a nurse in Arizona was disciplined.

 

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