Top 7 crazy nursing news items of 2012


Every year, millions of nurses all over the world go about their valuable work without significant incident. Many distinguish themselves with exceptional service and acts of heroism. However…

Remember when you went out with your friends as a teenager and your mother used to say she didn’t want to open the newspaper and read about you the next day? This is the kind of stuff she was talking about—only worse. We’ve picked the top seven to highlight just how crazy nurses can get (nobody you know though, right??) when they go over to the dark side. Make sure you’re sitting down for this one!

1. False Negative
A drug-addicted nurse in Australia is trapped in the web of lies she created to conceal her heroin habit. She claimed her first positive urine test was due to a drink-spiking episode. Then, she somehow accessed and altered the results of a second urine test to show it was negative for cannabis. Now, she faces the consequences of being caught and even harsher penalties for the attempted cover-up. In addition to having her license suspended, she’ll have to pay back more than $10,000 for the Medicaid billing and disability insurance fraud that funded her drug use. She’ll undergo counseling and training as part of her punishment. Let’s hope she can afford to go to rehab as well.

Next: Don’t Lie on Your Résumé →

2. Don’t Lie on Your Résumé
Apparently, you can procure and use illegal drugs, work as a nurse with a suspended license and steal more than 10 grand in Australia and still just get sentenced to counseling. But if you fudge your qualifications on a job application in the UK, you go straight to the slammer. An NHS nurse was sentenced to 15 months behind bars in September for making wildly fictitious CV claims over the seven years he worked as a nurse in Great Britain. Afghan refugee Abdul Pirzada claimed to have worked for the UN and the French Red Cross, as well as having been a registered dentist in Pakistan. Getting the truth out of this guy has been like pulling teeth!

Next: That’s Criminal! →

3. That’s Criminal!
An Arizona nurse working in a correctional institution was suspended in August for potentially exposing more than 100 inmates to hepatitis C. Instead of following basic protocols to prevent contamination, she apparently decided that “reduce, reuse, recycle” would be the best approach. After injecting a hep C positive patient with insulin, she used the same needle to draw more insulin from a new vial to finish dosing the patient. Then, she returned the new vial to the fridge where it was used again and again for other diabetic inmates.

Next: Be My Slave →

4. Be My Slave
In this revolting news story, a nurse practitioner running a family practice in Connecticut was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 44-year-old patient into become his sex slave. He also tried to convince the woman to hand over her daughters (including an 18-month-old infant) for the same purpose. Of course, she reported him to the police immediately. As a footnote, this guy was also charged with larceny and Medicaid fraud. Whatever charges they end up convicting him on, we hope he goes away for a long, long time. If anyone deserves to get stuck with an infected needle in prison….

Next: Down the Drain →

5. Down the Drain
A transplant patient’s hope for a new kidney was dashed in September when an Ohio nurse flushed the organ down a hopper in a filthy utility room. The nurse apparently thought the bag full of icy, sterile solution was just medical waste. Unfortunately, it contained the viable kidney a brother was attempting to donate to his ill sister. More than one person has lost their job over this massive procedural failure, and the hospital has apologized for the error. If that nurse is a donor match for the patient, maybe she could offer to make things right by forking over a kidney of her own. “Sorry” just doesn’t cut it in some situations.

Next: But I Lurve Him! →

6. But I Lurve Him!
A nurse in New Zealand will have to pay for a supervisor to monitor her at work for 12 months after she was caught having an affair with a patient’s husband. The nurse apparently still sees nothing unethical about the arrangement. She reportedly told the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal that she did not believe her relationship with the man would have affected his wife’s care or rehabilitation. No news on whether or not the wife believed this statement.

Next: It’s Payback Time →

7. It’s Payback Time
A nurse in Australia has been convicted of “borrowing” more than $46,500 from generous-hearted patients starting in 2007. After providing care for terminally or critically ill patients, she would then visit them at their homes to beg for money. She made up sob stories about not being able to keep a roof over her family’s head or a no-good husband who had cleaned out their joint bank account. She asked the patients never to tell anyone about the loans. Unfortunately for her, patient/nurse confidentiality doesn’t work that way. She’s been banned from reapplying for work as a nurse for three years. Now, she really will need a loan to see her through the hard financial times!

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4 Responses to Top 7 crazy nursing news items of 2012

  1. angeltinks RN

    I feel I must say something in defence of Australian nurses as our governing body is very strict and these two isolated cases are not indicative of the dedicated ,committed and caring professional nurses here.

  2. Ausnurse

    As an Australian nurse and midwife, I find these “news items” offensive and derogatory. The Australian regulatory body is strict and fair and these fictitious stories are close to slander. The profession I work in is hardworking, dedicated, highly skilled. The unethical nurses and midwives are by far the majority and dealt with swiftly by our regulatory body AHPRA. You would do a lot better to use your magazine to promote the profession from a basis of evidence and not anecdote. That’s my personal opinion for what it’s worth and I’m not sure I’ll bother reader your “magazine” again.

    • Ausnurse

      Excuse me – The unethical nurses and midwives are by far the MINORITY….

  3. Granny RN RN

    How in hell did a donor’s kidney get from an operating room into a bag of ice headed for a dirty utility room?
    Was not the recipient already in the adjoining OR ready to receive the organ?