Connecticut Nursing Board Disciplines Five Nurses
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing has disciplined five nurses for lapses in care, including a Manchester nurse in connection with a patient in Massachusetts who died.
On Feb. 21, the Connecticut board reprimanded Elinor Riberio, a licensed practical nurse from Manchester, and placed her license on probation for one year in connection with the Massachusetts case.
In June 2017, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing placed Riberio’s license on probation for six months after she admitted she failed to properly care for a patient at the Heritage Hall West nursing home in Agawam, Massachusetts records from that state show.
Riberio failed to monitor the patient’s respiratory status and vital signs, left the unit even though she was the only nurse working there, failed to perform chest compressions when she found the patient in cardiopulmonary arrest and failed to properly operate defibrillator and suction machines, her signed consent order with the Connecticut board said.
Marybeth McCabe, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, confirmed Thursday that the patient died.
Riberio has successfully completed a variety of courses, including on basic life support, critical thinking and reasoning and other topics, Connecticut records show.
Connecticut law allows the board to discipline nurses who hold Connecticut licenses when they have been disciplined by other states.
The board also reprimanded the advanced practice registered nursing license of Karlene Jean-Pierre of Stockbridge, Georgia and placed her license on probation for six months. A consent order that Jean-Pierre agreed to says that while working as an APRN at Corebella Health in Waterbury in 2015, she failed to meet the standard of care in her management of a patient’s hypothyroidism.
She also failed to obtain the patient’s consent before prescribing natural thyroid products and improperly prescribed testosterone, the consent order said. During the probation, Jean-Pierre must take courses in the management of patients with thyroid conditions and in hormone management, the order said.
The board suspended the licenses of the following nurses, saying they posed a danger to the public:
• Registered nurse Amanda Alarcon of Shelton for failing to attend multiple therapy sessions and failing to submit to random drug tests since September, state records show. In March, the board had placed her license on probation for four years after finding that she abused heroin from 2011 to 2014.
• LPN Shannon Eustace of Wolcott, who state records show is accused of using alcohol, cocaine and Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug, to excess in 2017 and having an emotional disorder or mental illness that affects her ability to practice safely.
• RN Brian Gross of West Hartford after he failed to undergo random alcohol tests from November to January, records show. He admitted to the state Department of Public Health that he had relapsed and used alcohol twice and had two related hospitalizations in November and January, records show. In September, his license was placed on a four-year probation in connection with his abuse of alcohol from 2013 to 2017.
The board withdrew all charges against a licensed practical nurse who did not graduate from a nursing program because the woman, Dian Miller Francis of East Hartford, voluntarily surrendered her license in January.
The board suspended her license last year after she delivered a document to DPH purporting to be her transcript from Stone Academy in East Hartford. She was allowed to take the national nursing exam, passed it and got her license, but then the school told DPH that she had never graduated.
Kate Farrish is a Connecticut Health I-Team writer. This story was reported under a partnership with the Conn. Health I-Team (c-hit.org).