The state Board of Examiners for Nursing has revoked the licenses of four nurses and disciplined eight other nurses, with all but one of the cases connected to alcohol or drug abuse.
Meeting in Hartford on Wednesday, June 15, the board revoked the license of Leslie Matejek, a registered nurse from Derby, after she tested positive for cocaine three times in 2015, the board’s memorandum of decision said.
The memo shows that in 2010 Matejek’s license was placed on probation for four years after she admitted falsifying a prescription for Oxycontin. According to the memo, she tested positive for oxycodone three times in 2010 and morphine twice in 2011. Her probation was later extended to February of this year, with weekly random drug tests.
The board also revoked the license of Jennifer Reinhard, a licensed practical nurse from Torrington, because it found that she had violated the terms of an earlier two-year probation. Reinhard did not supply reports to show she was seeing a therapist or proof that she had passed weekly drug tests, the memorandum of decision said.
The board also revoked the RN license of John Sherman of Watertown, New York, who was working at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan. The board found that in 2014 Sherman stole anti-anxiety drugs for his own use and used alcohol or drugs to excess, the memorandum of decision said.
The license of Holly Cocchiola, an LPN from Bethlehem, was also revoked. State records show that she tested positive for heroin after a car accident on Feb. 14. She was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, evading responsibility and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, records show.
On Wednesday, the board suspended the license of Dorsey Saunders, an LPN from Bridgeport, because she posed “a clear and immediate danger” to the public, state Department of Public Health (DPH) records show.
On March 23 the board placed her license on probation for four years for stealing drugs, including oxycodone and fentanyl, while on duty at Fairview of Fairfield, a nursing home in the Southport section of Fairfield.
Officials from the state Department of Public Health repeatedly tried to contact her and were unsuccessful so it concluded she had failed to comply with the terms of her probation, records show.
The board also suspended the license of Dawn Noyce, an RN from Canterbury. State records show that in April 2015, she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was placed on probation for 18 months. Her probation officer, Julie Valliere, told DPH that Noyce had been fired from two nursing jobs in the past year and has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, records show.
The board imposed a four-year probation on Jamie Libertini, an RN from New Milford, who admitted abusing Percocet, Dilaudid and Xanax to excess between August 2012 and August 2013, according to a consent order.
Libertini also admitted stealing Dilaudid from the patient stock in August 2013 while working as a nurse at Danbury Hospital. She also took blank prescription forms from the hospital and forged 12 prescription orders to obtain Ambien and Xanax, the order said.
On March 30, 2015, Libertini tested positive for an anti-anxiety drug for which she did not have a prescription, and on April 29, 2015, her license was temporarily suspended, state records show. DPH records show the hospital fired Libertini.
On Sept. 9, 2015, Danbury police charged Libertini with multiple counts of obtaining controlled drugs with forged prescriptions, fraud, forgery, larceny and identity theft, DPH records show. She received accelerated rehabilitation, a special form of probation, in connection with the charges, records show.
The board also:
• Imposed a four-year probation on Lori Karen Salupen, an RN from Bristol, after she admitted at a hearing that she had stolen and abused Percocet in September 2015 while working at Cook Willow Health Center in Plymouth, the board’s memorandum of decision states.
• Imposed a four-year probation on Shelly Volpe, an LPN from Groton under a consent order with the board. The order said that she took oxycodone and other drugs from the Norwich Rehabilitation and Care Center, where she was working, and falsified one or more drug reports.
• Placed the license of Lindsay M. Wayman, an RN from Naugatuck, on probation for two years, a consent order said. The order said that while working as a nurse at Waterbury Hospital in 2008, Wayman abused alcohol, marijuana and/or opiates to excess and was unable to perform her duties as a nurse.
• Imposed a one-year probation on Allyssa Graham, an advanced practice registered nurse from Old Lyme, who will not be able to prescribe medication for herself or relatives during that year, under a consent order. Between July 2014 and July 2015, Graham prescribed multiple controlled substances for her husband and did not maintain medical records to support the prescriptions for painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs, state records show.
• Placed the license of Melody L. Williams-Destra, an RN from Bloomfield, on probation for one year after it found that in 2015 she created two false state Department of Education health assessment forms for a friend’s grandchildren and forged a co-worker’s name to the forms, records show.
Why put license on probation ????? they only repeat their behavior while patients suffer through their abuse, impaired while working, taking narcotics and the Pt. gets maybe a tylenol, sterile hypo or nothing. They should not ever be allowed to practice as nurses after first incident.
This practice serves to enable them when license are restored. Look at DPH website, repeaters after repeater for YEARS for many of these impaire peeps.
While I agree repeated behavior shouldn’t be tolerated. As a nurse the system does not take care of its employees. High stress long hours. Force to take short cuts due to low staffing. The environment itself doesn’t offer a safe place to ask for help. If you take a persons with problems beyond work , which most people have, and in this environment . This is what it breeds. It’s easy to say just quit. Not the solution.
@ Lpn……I disagree, stress, short cuts, low staffing NO excuse for drug abuse. Nurses have choices and a choice not to use/abuse/pilfer narcotics. Working conditions are no different now than years ago. I know, I did FIFTY years as a nurse and unlike todays nurses I made the right choice……..not to do drugs. I was committed to quality nursing care not abuse by being impaired or involved ever in a diversion of narcs or any medication or ETOH.
Low self esteem, followers, desire to be detatched from enviorment when high, dual diagnoses, eager to experiment everything possible breeds the problem.
Because of the widespread abuse in health care providers, it was difficult for years for me to be able to work in a safe/drug free area.
BTW I’m still a/o x3
^^^^best response ever!
IT IS A SHAME NURSES ARE STEALING DRUGS
I GRADUATED 1980
NEVER HEARD OF DRUG STEALING
Let the person with the perfect record in all life matters throw the first stone…..silence is heard around the world…..
Nurse for 34 years working all over the US. Accusations attach to my license for not notifying the board that I did not change my address within 30 days. I am a traveling nurse and sometimes I have contract for only 4 weeks. I am using my children’s residence as a mailing address due to the fact that I am constantly relocating and had been a victim of identity theft three times.
Second accusation is unprofessional conduct after I had a reckless driving due to the prescription sleeping pill given to me. I was hallucinating and driving. The police claimed I was intoxicated with alcohol. My blood alcohol level was a zero.
Third accusation was the missing Norco in one of the community hospital where I did registry. Because of this, I offer to be drug screened and the hospital decline. Now I am suffering because of this. Is this justifiable?
My name is Gina Sanchez and from 2004 to 2010 i was a victim of Domestic Violence. i was beat nearly to death in 2005 during my nursing college days and the staff and students thought I was in a horrible car accident. i begged the DON, at
American Career, to please allow my stay being that I had a concusion and failed a semester. i was a single mother of 6 with a violent hunter on my back nut even the harassment and the beatings would not stop me from becoming a nurse’
i did everything right, cared for my children, worked two jobs, bought my own home far away from my stolker but he found me. in 2010 I informed Rebekah Anderson with the board of nursing in sacramento that I was putting myself in a domestic violence safe house and I would be on a blackout for 30 days. i told her I wanted to satisfy the boards and save myself.
on 10-20-2010 while i was in a home for domestic violence and a charge of under the use of a controlled substance in 2007 while out with my friends. I take full responsibility and i was now alone far away and free and was just enjoying myself a little bit to much that night and paid the price dearly. I was sent a court date while in this home called Allen House in Santa Fe Springs, CA. while i was here my daughter brought me mail and in that mail was a court date that i missed and an order an probation period of 3 years. and the charge was an accusation.
My councler and myself, sent all supporting documention to the board of nursing to remind them of my wherabouts and how could I have went to court when I was in a safe house with a 30 day blackout.
now at this time the board of nursing was short staffed. There was no no mail room clerk, no one at all for me to talk to. no one ever gave me an ear, ther was no ear to give. the board fell so behind that the department of justice had to come in and give them a hand and that was a couple years later so do you think in any way that i got justice. no, i got swept under the carpet with no sworn investigation no mentor no advise no help or referrals or maybe an ear or just a wait the three years probation and now know that this action was unjustifiable