Nancy Waller, 67, hasn’t practiced nursing since 2021 after being accused of assaulting a patient while working as the head nurse at a New Boston assisted living facility in New Hampshire. But a jury found her not guilty earlier this year and now she is on a mission to get her nursing license back.
State authorities first brought charges against Waller in April 2021. She was accused of breaking the fingers of a resident named Steven Hall, who ended up at the Rose Meadow assisted living facility after suffering from a drug overdose. Prosecutors said Waller broke the fingers of the resident because he refused to let go of his call bell. She was also charged with preventing the patient from being examined by outside medical staff.
During the trial, medical experts testified for both the prosecution and defense. Waller took the stand to testify on her own behalf. One of her colleagues also claimed that Waller did not hurt the patient. However, yet another Rose Meadow worker testified that Waller was old, tired, and that it was time for her to leave the facility. Others said that Hall fell off the bed after holding onto the call bell but the staff didn’t properly document the injury.
Waller agreed to surrender her license after being charged. “Recognizing that professional misconduct allegations are now pending against me before the Board, I, Nancy Waller, RN, voluntarily agree not to practice as a registered nurse effective upon my signing this Preliminary Agreement Not to Practice,” her agreement with the board reads.
The jury deliberated for just over an hour before announcing their verdict. They found Waller not guilty of all charges.
Now, Waller is trying to move on with her life and career by getting back to work.
“She’d like to go on with the next phase of her life with her license intact,” said Nashua lawyer Tim Goulden, who represented Waller in the trial.
But she still has a long way to go. She has another hearing scheduled with the Bureau of Elderly & Adult Services for next month, which could determine her fate as a nurse. The bureau investigates matters of alleged abuse against elderly patients.
Goulden said he also plans to reach out to the New Hampshire State Board of Nursing regarding Waller’s license.
“Nancy just happened to be the scapegoat at the facility she worked in,” said her daughter-in-law, Christina Waller. “I think all health care professionals should be aware that this could happen to anyone.”
Michael Garrity, a spokesperson for the State Attorney General, said the office is disappointed with the outcome of the trial and that the status of Waller’s nursing license rests with the state board of nursing.
Christina Waller added that her mother-in-law is looking for restitution after having her name dragged through the mud. She said Waller received a slew of hateful messages online after the charges were announced.
“She had an unblemished work history prior to these allegations, that is the note she would like to end her career on,” Christina Waller said.