State Revokes 3 Nurses’ Licenses, Cites Others For Drug, Alcohol Abuse

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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. In May of 2018 the board placed his license on probation for four years and ordered him to undergo random drug tests. He did not comply with the terms of his probation, records show.

The board also revoked the Connecticut RN license of Yahchika Leonard of Cleveland, Ohio, after she was disciplined in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state. Connecticut state law allows the board to take disciplinary action against a nurse who was disciplined in another state.

The board voted to suspend the RN license of Jasmine Quinones of Middletown, finding that her abuse of drugs and alcohol affects her practice of nursing.

The RN license of Myra Espanol of Trumbull was placed on probation for two years. Espanol, who was working as a nurse supervisor at The Curtis Home, was called to a room shared by two patients, because one patient was hitting the other with a wheelchair foot-rest, the consent order said. Espanol directed an LPN to call 911, told two aides to remain in the room, and left the room to complete paperwork. According to the terms of her probation, Espanol must also complete coursework in first aid and understanding the nursing role during emergency care.

The board also:

• Extended the probation of Tracy Kane’s RN license for four years for substance abuse, with a number of conditions: she must undergo random drug and alcohol screens weekly during the first and fourth years of probation, and twice monthly for the second and third years; provide written reports from her therapist monthly for the first and fourth years of probation and quarterly for the second and third; attend eight to 10 support group meetings per month with quarterly attendance reports; and abstain from solo practice. In April 2016 Kane, of Naugatuck, tested positive for alcohol, and her license was placed on probation for three years. While on probation, Kane tested positive for alcohol in November 2018.

• Ordered a four-year probation for RN Amanda Hart Vernon for abusing and diverting opiates and abusing alcohol. Hart, who worked at Hartford Hospital, must undergo therapy, submit to random urine screens, submit employer reports, complete ethics coursework, cannot practice solo, and cannot access or administer controlled substances for one year, according to her consent order.

• Placed on probation for four years the LPN license of Danielle Works of Stafford Springs. Works, who worked in Massachusetts from September 2016 to January 2018, had her license suspended in that state because she “diverted and/or utilized Roxanol, Dilaudid and/or oxycodone to excess,” failed to accurately document medical records, and falsified one or more controlled substance receipt records. She subsequently gave up her Massachusetts license. The board, in placing Works’ Connecticut license on probation, found that she “is and remains actively involved in recovery, attending therapy, anonymous support groups, and submitting to random urine screens, all of which have been negative.” As part of her probation, Works is not allowed to access or administer any controlled substances for one year, and must attend coursework in general and nursing practice ethics.

• Agreed to a four-year probation for RN Dana Zordan of Rocky Hill for substance abuse, including opioids and amphetamines, according to the consent order. Zordan, who suffers from opioid use disorder, must attend therapy, undergo random urine screens, cannot access or administer controlled substances for one year, and must attend support group meetings, the consent order said. After accepting Zordan’s consent order and placing him on probation, the board also lifted the suspension of his RN license.

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