The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week suspended the licenses of two licensed practical nurses (LPN) and disciplined four other nurses. The LPN license of Melissa A. Eccles of Norwich was suspended last Wednesday pending a hearing for failing to respond to a court-ordered substance abuse evaluation. Eccles was initially ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) in June 2018. When she failed to do so, the case went to court, and in July 2019 she was ordered to undergo the evaluation. In suspending her license prior to a hearing on her case, the state nursing board found that her continued practice as a nurse represents a “clear and immediate danger” to the public health and safety.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week suspended the licenses of four nurses and disciplined two others, all for drug- or alcohol-related offenses. The board summarily suspended the registered nurse (RN) license of Kathryn Lovejoy after it found her severe alcohol use disorder, as well as multiple emotional and substance abuse disorders, represent a clear and immediate danger to the public health and safety. Lovejoy, of New Haven, entered a rehabilitation program in March 2018 and was required to submit to random urine screens and breathalyzer tests, records show. In June 2019 the rehabilitation center referred Lovejoy’s case to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) after she used alcohol and failed to comply with urine tests, stating “they were unable to confirm [whether Lovejoy was] … fit to practice [nursing],” according to the motion for summary suspension. The board also summarily suspended the licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Tammy Piccirillo of Seymour who, according to a May 2019 consent order she signed, abused opiates from 2017 to 2018.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined six others, mostly for alcohol and drug abuse violations. The board revoked the registered nurse (RN) license of Kathryn Y. Ford of Wilton after finding that her continued practice as a nurse posed a threat to public safety, according to a memorandum of decision. Ford’s license had previously been suspended for using marijuana, cocaine and heroin to excess from January 2017 to August 2018. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Presley Eze of West Hartford, who has a long history of disciplinary actions, was also revoked. State records show that Eze was high on PCP in 2011 when he brandished a sword outside the Trader Joe’s store in West Hartford, and he has been arrested four times since then, records show.
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 licensed practical nurse from Rocky Hill who was sentenced to nine months in prison in connection with her toddler being badly burned in a bathtub has had her license reprimanded by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing. On Wednesday, Shamique Martin was one of 9 nurses disciplined by the board. It placed her license on probation for four months and ordered her to take courses in ethics and being a mandated reporter of child abuse. In February, 2017, Rocky Hill police arrested her in connection with her daughter’s burns. In September 2017, Martin pleaded guilty to one count of risk of injury to a minor and one count of making a false statement.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on today suspended the licenses of two registered nurses, saying their abuse of alcohol poses a danger to the public. The first nurse, Laura Kisatsky of Cornwall, abused alcohol in December, in violation of a consent order she agreed to in 2014. In July, state Department of Public Health (DPH) officials had told the board that Kisatsky’s use of morphine endangered the public. Those charges are pending. In 2005, Kisatsky had voluntarily surrendered her license after admitting stealing controlled substances while working as a nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital, records show.
State nursing regulators have ordered two former licensed practical nurses to take a refresher course before they can get their licenses back following disciplinary action. But there’s a problem: the only LPN refresher course approved by the state Department of Public Health won’t accept anyone with an active disciplinary order. One of the nurses, Heather Delaney of Oxford, says she has beaten the addiction to the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin that caused her to alter a prescription in 2010 and can safely return to nursing. She agreed to a consent order with the state Board of Examiners for Nursing in 2016, only to be turned down by the approved program, at South Dakota State University, because of the order. Delaney was one of two nurses featured in a January 2018 C-HIT article on nurses and addiction.
A psychiatric nurse from Durham who lost a $4.2 million malpractice decision in 2016 in connection with her care of a patient who committed suicide was reprimanded Wednesday by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing. The board also placed the advanced practice registered nurse license of Catherine Florio, who treated the patient in 2009 at Harbor Health Services in Branford, on probation for six months, during which she must complete courses on the management of patients with depression or anxiety or who are considering suicide, according to a consent order Florio agreed to with the board. Florio must also complete a course on managing patients who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used to treat anxiety. In 2016, a New Haven Superior Court jury found Florio 35 percent responsible for the death of Alan Jarecki, a 55-year-old house painter from Madison who was admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital because he was considering suicide, the Connecticut Law Tribune reported. The jury found the hospital 65 percent liable for the death, but the hospital had previously settled the lawsuit with Jarecki’s family, the Law Tribune reported.
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 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.