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.
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.
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.
The Board of Examiners for Nursing today disciplined seven nurses, including five for abusing drugs or alcohol. The board members also recommended that the state Department of Public Health hold a hearing in the case of Mary Howe of Griswold, a registered nurse who has been accused of inappropriate care of an inmate at York Correctional Institution in Niantic. DPH records show that on Nov. 1, 2014, the inmate bumped her head against a wall and fell out of a wheelchair and suffered a serious brain injury while in the prison medical unit. The inmate was hospitalized in critical care until February 2015 and remains in a long-term care facility, records show.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined three nurses, including one who dealt in anabolic steroids. In the steroid case, the board fined RN Michael Mase of New Milford $3,000 and placed his license on probation for a year. He has said he started using steroids in connection with power lifting and that he bought them for his own use and to share with friends, records show. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and intent to sell steroids, records show, and is now on criminal probation through 2018. Under the consent order he signed with the nursing board, Mase must undergo random drug tests but he can stay employed as an independent contractor with Vivacity Life Center in Stamford.
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.