A former head nurse at York Correctional Institution has been reprimanded by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing for failing to properly care for an inmate who suffered a serious brain injury while in the prison medical unit in 2014. In the Niantic prison case, the board Wednesday also placed the registered nurse license of Mary Howe of Griswold on probation for three years and barred her from working in a clinical care setting for the first two years of the probation, a consent order she signed with the board said. Howe was also ordered to take courses in ethics, delegation of nursing duties, professional nursing standards, documentation and “empathy and compassion in nursing,” the order said. In signing the order, Howe did not contest the allegations against her but admitted no wrongdoing. In May 2017, a UConn Health spokesman said Howe no longer worked for the UConn Health unit that provided medical care in the prison.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing Wednesday disciplined two nurses, including a registered nurse from Branford who stole an opioid painkiller for her own use. The RN, Alice J. Miller, admitted that on Nov. 24, 2016, she took the oxycodone, a consent order she signed with the board said. The same month, she also used alcohol or controlled substances to excess, the order said. Her license was temporarily suspended, and Wednesday, the board continued the suspension for six months, followed by a four-year probation during which Miller must pass drug tests and attend therapy and support group sessions, the order said.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined nine nurses this week, including taking action against seven nurses who abused drugs or alcohol. The board revoked the license of Christine Tracy, a licensed practical nurse, for abusing heroin in 2014. The board’s memorandum of decision said that Tracy of Ansonia was arrested in 2014 after driving on the wrong side of the road and striking two other cars. After being hospitalized, she was found in possession of seven bags of heroin. She was arrested and placed on probation for three years in 2016 after pleading guilty to possession of narcotics and failure to appear in court, the memo said.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined four nurses Wednesday, including two accused of abusing drugs or alcohol and two accused of lying about their credentials. The board reprimanded and fined Vittoria Guerrera, a registered nurse from Prospect, $3,000, in connection with lying to her employer, St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, in 2015 about her results on a national nursing exam. Guerrera told her employers that a report that she failed the test was false, a consent order approved by the board said. From June through September of 2015, Guerrera continued to work as an RN at the hospital despite having failed the nursing test, the consent order said.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined eight nurses, including seven for cases involving the theft or abuse of drugs and alcohol. The board revoked the registered nurse license of Enrique Lopez of Washington Depot, finding that between September and December, while working at Life Spring Home Health Care of Waterbury, he took a drug used to treat panic attacks from patients, records show. He also failed to properly document medical records and falsified a drug record, state Department of Public Health records show. From June to November, he also took an anti-anxiety drug from a patient and offered to pay the patient’s cable bill in return for the drug, records show. The board also found that Lopez made inappropriate comments or had inappropriate physical contact with a patient, records show.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing Wednesday placed an East Hartford nurse’s license on probation for two years in connection with the death of a 13-month-old girl she was caring for in Manchester in 2014. A 2016 investigative report found that Shirley A. Powell, a licensed practical nurse, had failed to provide rescue breathing and CPR when the girl’s tracheotomy tube became dislodged. Under a consent order approved by the board Wednesday, Powell is permanently barred from caring for a patient with an artificial airway in a home health care setting or in any setting without the presence of other licensed nurses. The order does allow her to continue caring for one adult with an artificial airway who she has been caring for since 2008. Her employer will have to regularly report to DPH on the quality of Powell’s care of that patient.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week disciplined eight nurses, including seven for cases that involved drugs. The board last Wednesday revoked the registered nurse license of Lisa Fabrizio, who is formerly from Monroe, after it found that she took jewelry from patients and computers from her work at Lighthouse Home Healthcare in Old Saybrook and was trading the goods for heroin, state records show. In June, she was charged by Stratford police with third-degree larceny after a detective determined she was pawning stolen jewelry, tools and electronics in local shops, state records show. She is also facing multiple criminal charges in connection with a hit-and-run accident in August, when she told police she had recently used heroin, records show. The board found that her abuse of heroin was affecting her practice as a nurse and that her thefts constituted a failure to conform to the standards of the nursing profession, records show.
Five nurses have been disciplined by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing for misconduct ranging from sleeping on the job to abusing heroin or stealing from patients. The board last Wednesday suspended the registered nursing license of Adrian Kozikowski of New Britain because, state records show, he left a shift in July at Autumn Lake Healthcare in New Britain and fell asleep or lost consciousness due to drug use. Between April and July, he abused alcohol, marijuana and Ecstacy, records show, so the state Department of Public Health concluded his practice as a nurse posed a “clear and immediate danger” to the public. The board also suspended the license of Lisa Fabrizio, an RN from Monroe after concluding that she posed a danger as well. While working at Lighthouse Home Healthcare in Old Saybrook, she took property from the home and residents between March and May, records show.
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.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday placed the registered nursing programs at three colleges on conditional status for one year because too many students have failed the R.N. licensing exam. The programs – at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain and Gateway Community College in New Haven and the University of St. Joseph’s accelerated program in West Hartford – are expected to present correction plans to the board in June. To avoid conditional status, the programs must have a passing rate of at least 80 percent among students taking the licensing exam for the first time after graduation. Central’s most recent passing rate was 74 percent while Gateway and St.