A licensed practical nurse from Ansonia who is accused of murdering an Eastern Connecticut State University student will get another chance to keep his nursing license. Last week, the Board of Examiners for Nursing vacated a decision it made in June to revoke the license of Jermaine V. Richards, 34, after Richards, who is being held on a $500,000 bond at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, requested a continuance on a hearing he had been unable to attend in June. The board on July 19 granted his request for the continuance. Richards is facing charges that he was involved in a fight with a visitor in a patient’s home. In June, the board had concluded after the hearing that he slept while on duty at a patient’s home, misrepresented himself as a registered nurse, violated the patient’s privacy by bringing a visitor to the home and then had a physical altercation with the visitor, state records show.
Five technical high school programs that prepare students to become licensed practical nurses have stopped taking applications for new students as state officials are debating their future. While no decision has been made to close the programs, Ed Leavy, president of the State Vocational Federation of Teachers, said administrators have been told to stop accepting new students who would have started class in January. “I am obviously concerned about the future of these programs,” he said. “We think these programs are too important to eliminate.”
Leavy said his union will lobby legislators to save the programs, if need be, because they are affordable programs that set people on a solid career path. The union represents about 25 LPN teachers and department heads.
The licensed practical nursing program at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown is in danger of closing because too few graduates have been passing the LPN licensing exam. Vinal Tech’s passing rate has been rising since it was 53 percent in 2012, but it remained at only 75 percent May 1 and Oct. 1, 2015, state records show. To keep its approval from the state Board of Examiners for Nursing, the program must have a passing rate of at least 80 percent among students taking the test for the first time after graduation. Due to the 75 percent passing rate, the nursing board voted unanimously Oct.