The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week disciplined four nurses for drug or alcohol abuse. The board placed the registered nurse (RN) license of Sara J. Smith of Shelton on probation for four years after it found she altered a 2018 prescription for codeine after testing positive for codeine on April 3, 2019, according to a consent order signed by Smith. During her probation Smith must undergo random drug tests, attend therapy and support meetings, and is prohibited from solo practice. The RN license of Nicole Loving of Colchester was placed on probation for three years after she admitted to abusing alcohol, according to her signed consent order. During probation Loving must submit to random drug tests, attend therapy and support meetings, and cannot practice in home care, pool nursing, or self-employment.
The Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined six others. The board revoked the registered nurse (RN) license of Charlene Zikaras of Milford for continuing to practice as a nurse after being told to stop by the state. Zikaras, who worked at the Stamford Ambulatory Surgical Center, had her license placed on probation for four years in December 2018 for alcohol abuse and was required to submit urine screens. On April 22, Zikaras’ urine tested positive for alcohol and on May 3 she was told to refrain from working as a nurse. Zikaras went to work on May 8, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reported.
A nurse at Avon Old Farms School was fined $5,000 today by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing for inappropriately prescribing controlled substances to herself, family members and friends 42 times. Lenore Leone of Avon, an advanced practice registered nurse, who works at the private school under her married name, Lenore Severni, prescribed the drugs for herself and seven friends and relatives from 2014 to 2017, a consent order she agreed to said. The board also reprimanded her license. From 1992 to 2017, Leone also practiced and prescribed controlled substances without having a collaboration agreement with a doctor, as state law requires, the order said. Under the order, Leone must enter into an agreement with a doctor.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined three nurses on Wednesday, including suspending the license of an East Hartford nurse who tested positive for alcohol just two months after being placed on probation for alcohol abuse. The board suspended the license of the licensed practical nurse, Nicole Miller, because her positive test in June violated her four-year probation, state records show. State Department of Public Health officials said her continued practice as a nurse presents a danger to the public. In April, the board imposed the four-year probation on Miller and required her to undergo random drug and alcohol testing because, state records show, she had abused alcohol and/or opiates to excess in 2016 and 2017. The board also suspended the registered nurse license of Kimberly Eldridge of Coventry for testing positive for alcohol in April, in violation of an agreement she had with an alternative program for health professionals called the Health Assistance InterVention Education program, or HAVEN.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing has suspended the licenses of two nurses and revoked the licenses of two others. Meeting July 18 in Hartford, the board revoked the licensed practical nurse license of Frances Pisaturo of East Haven. It had suspended her license in November, saying that while working at PSA Healthcare in Stratford this year, she used marijuana to excess and posed a danger to the public, state records show. The charges were deemed admitted at a hearing in April because Pisaturo did not attend it, records show. The board also revoked the LPN license of Shannon Eustace of Wolcott, who state records show was accused of using alcohol, cocaine and Ativan to excess in 2017 and having an emotional disorder or mental illness that affects her ability to practice safely.
The Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined five nurses while dropping the charges against an Ansonia nurse because he is now serving 60 years in prison for an unrelated felony murder. The charges were dropped against Jermaine V. Richards, a former licensed practical nurse from Ansonia, because he was convicted in March of the felony murder of his ex-girlfriend, an Eastern Connecticut State University student, in 2013. Since Richards’ nursing license lapsed in 2016 and is now serving a long sentence for murdering Alyssiah Wiley, 20, of West Haven, the prosecution of administrative charges against him is unnecessary, an attorney for the state Department of Public Health told the board. In charges unrelated to the murder, Richards had been accused of being involved in a fight with a visitor in the home of one of his patients. In June 2017, the board revoked his nursing license because of the fight and after concluding that he slept while on duty at a patient’s home, but a month later, the board vacated the revocation because Richards had asked for a continuance.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined five nurses, including three advanced practice registered nurses for inappropriately prescribing drugs to family members. The board reprimanded the license of Joan Landino, an APRN from Wallingford, because in 2015, she inappropriately prescribed a controlled substance to a family member without documenting a medical evaluation of the person, a consent order she agreed to said. In 2016, she also failed to secure her prescription pad and inappropriately prescribed stimulants and benzodiazepines, a category of drugs that includes Valium, to patients, the order said. She also prescribed controlled substances to patients without documenting a justification for the prescriptions, the order states. Landino’s license will be on probation until she completes courses in prescribing practices and documentation standards, and she is restricted from prescribing any medication for herself, family members or friends except in an emergency, the order states.
The Board of Examiners for Nursing has disciplined five nurses, including a Manchester nurse, in connection with lapses in care of a patient in Massachusetts who died. On Feb. 21, the Connecticut board reprimanded Elinor Riberio, a licensed practical nurse from Manchester, and placed her license on probation for one year in connection with the Massachusetts case. In June 2017, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing placed Riberio’s license on probation for six months after she admitted she failed to properly care for a patient at the Heritage Hall West nursing home in Agawam, Massachusetts records from that state show. Riberio failed to monitor the patient’s respiratory status and vital signs, left the unit even though she was the only nurse working there, failed to perform chest compressions when she found the patient in cardiopulmonary arrest and failed to properly operate defibrillator and suction machines, her signed consent order with the Connecticut board said.
Out of work and addicted to the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin, Heather Delaney, a licensed practical nurse from Stratford, checked herself into Bridgeport Hospital in 2011 when she could no longer handle withdrawal without medical help. After a brief hospitalization following a suicide attempt the previous fall, Delaney spent two horrific months on her own in the throes of withdrawal. The corners of her eyes felt “chapped,” and “it felt like somebody had wrapped me up in a scratchy blanket of needles,” said Delaney, who had given up her nursing license after being caught altering her Klonopin prescription. Sara Kaiser, an LPN living in Manchester, stole morphine from the nursing homes where she worked and was addicted to heroin from age 18 to 24. She spent time homeless and in prison, ultimately going through 14 rehab programs before getting sober in 2010.
The Board of Examiners for Nursing this week disciplined five nurses for cases involving alcohol or drug abuse, including one nurse who stole Fentanyl patches from nursing home patients. In a consent order with the board, Ashley Dizney of Southington, a registered nurse and an advanced practice registered nurse, agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and be placed on probation for four years for abusing Fentanyl to excess in January 2017. That month, she stole Fentanyl patches from patients in nursing homes in Torrington and Waterbury while working for Connecticut Mental Health Specialists of Farmington, the order said. From 2015 to 2017, Dizney also used alcohol and multiple controlled substances to excess, the order said. She chose not to contest the allegations against her.