State disciplines prison nurse from New Haven, among others

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing this week disciplined eight nurses, including one from New Haven in connection with care for a seriously injured prisoner at York Correctional Institution in Niantic and one from Wallingford who worked at Bridgeport Hospital.

The board said Shanequa Moore of New Haven failed to properly care for an inmate who suffered a serious brain injury in the prison medical unit in 2014. Moore also had her license placed on probation for two years after the board found that Moore failed to practice nursing with empathy, compassion and care in the inmate’s case, a consent order she agreed to said. While not admitting wrongdoing, Moore chose not to contest the allegations. She has completed courses in medical documentation, ethics, professional accountability, mindfulness and empathy, the order said.

Moore is the second nurse disciplined by the board in connection with the same injury at the Niantic prison. In April, it reprimanded registered nurse Mary Howe of Griswold, former head nurse at the prison, and placed her license on probation for three years. A consent order Howe agreed to said she failed to intervene when the inmate complained of chest pain and a head injury.

The former inmate, then 36, was being held before trial on misdemeanor, nonviolent charges. She suffered a traumatic brain injury at York and filed a $7.5 million medical-neglect claim against the state Department of Correction in 2016. The charges against the inmate were later dismissed, and she has since been treated in a long-term care facility. A conservator for the former inmate settled the case for $780,000 in 2017, court records show.

Also this week, the board suspended the nursing licenses of two women after finding that their continued practice as nurses posed a threat to public safety. Register Nurse Heather Breen of Wallingford tested positive for an amphetamine in February, March and May and falsified a medical record, state records show. In 2015, Breen had stolen morphine, oxycodone and hydrophone while working at Bridgeport Hospital and abused the drugs to excess, records show. The second nurse, Kathryn Y. Ford, an RN from Wilton, was accused of using marijuana, cocaine and heroin to excess from January 2017 to August of this year, state records show.

The board also reprimanded two nurses who worked at a nursing home in West Hartford and placed their licenses on probation for a year in connection with a patient who died after they failed to follow the patient’s advanced directive, records show. RN Ana Alvarez of New Britain was disciplined in a 2017 incident in which a patient died at The Reservoir nursing home. A consent order she agreed to said that Alvarez failed to initiate CPR or send the patient to a hospital, in violation of the patient’s directive. LPN Marcia Guerry of Avon received the same punishment for failing to properly perform or continue CPR on the same patient, a consent order she agreed to said. Both nurses chose not to contest the allegations and were ordered to take courses in advanced directives, the orders said.

RN Renee Devoe, whose hometown was not listed, had her license reinstated and placed on probation while she takes a refresher course. Once she completes the course and passes a licensing exam, her license will remain on probation for one year, during which time she must pass random drug tests, the board’s memorandum of decision states. Devoe’s license was revoked in 2009 based on evidence that her abuse of heroin was affecting her ability to practice safely, the memo said. After a hearing in June showed that Devoe has had a lengthy period of being drug-free, the board concluded she was safe to practice again, the memo said.

The board also agreed to reinstate the LPN license of Kokumo Lauray of East Hartford and place her license on probation for one year once she passes an LPN refresher course and a licensing exam. In 2010, the board had revoked her license based on evidence that she had lied in 2009 about not having a felony conviction when she applied to have her nursing license renewed, state records show. State records show that between 2000 and 2008, Lauray had been convicted of seven criminal charges, including a felony robbery charge in Bloomfield in 2008. After holding a hearing in May of this year, the board concluded there was sufficient evidence that she is now safe to practice as an LPN again, its memorandum of decision states.

The board continued the suspension of the RN license of Brian Gross of Feeding Hills, Mass., through Oct. 31, when the license will be placed on probation for four years. His license was suspended in February after he failed to undergo random alcohol tests from November to January under a previous four-year probation, state records show. The previous probation was imposed because of his abuse of alcohol, but, after a hearing in April, the board concluded he was safe to return to practice as a nurse as of Nov. 1, its memorandum of decision states.

The board also dropped all charges against a Stamford Hospital nurse who had been accused of stealing Dilaudid meant for 21 patients because the RN, Kerrisha Stacy-Ann Hurd of Elmont, New York, has voluntarily surrendered her nursing license, records show.