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Traveling Nurse Loses License for Stealing Drugs

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Feb 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

A traveling nurse from Kentucky who was allowed to continue practicing in Tennessee despite criminal charges of allegedly stealing narcotics has finally had her nursing license revoked.

Jacqueline Brewster lost her license to practice in Kentucky and West Virginia after she allegedly stole narcotics. Brewster was a traveling nurse working out of the Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, and she had worked for Ballad Health in Washington County, where she was accused of stealing drugs.

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) did not immediately respond to complaints against Brewster, and she eventually got another job in West Virginia. While there, she allegedly perpetrated the same drug diversion offenses that got her in trouble in Tennessee, but the West Virginia RN Board of Nursing summarily suspended her license, as did the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

Had TDH suspended her license after initial complaints nearly a year and a half beforehand, Brewster would have been flagged in the NURSYS notification system and would have been prohibited from practicing.

Incidentally, the report mentioned that more than 100 patients had to be notified of their potential exposure to HIV or hepatitis because of Brewster's actions. So, the TDH's slowness in responding to Brewster's case may have placed numerous patients at unnecessary risk.

For its part, TDH fined Brewster $3,000 for each violation, along with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. A grand jury indicted Brewster on four counts of narcotics fraud, and she was arraigned on Jan. 6.

Factors That Affect Traveling Nurses

Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia are a part of the enhanced interstate nursing compact (eNLC), as is New Jersey. New York is not part of the eNLC, and Pennsylvania has passed legislation to join but is awaiting implementation.

The eNLC allows nurses to have one compact state nursing license and practice in other states that are part of the agreement. However, as this case shows, nursing boards among the member states handle complaints and accusations of wrongdoing differently and, sometimes, are dilatory in imposing administrative sanctions.

As such, traveling nurses who receive complaints from one state may have to worry about defending their license in another. This adds an additional layer of complexity to an already complicated and stressful issue, so an accused traveling nurse will need an attorney for help.

Get the Help You Need

If you are a traveling nurse based or practicing in New Jersey or New York, you need an experienced professional license attorney to represent your case before the nursing boards.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience representing clients before New York and New Jersey nursing and medical licensing boards. He also has extensive criminal defense experience. He can assert your rights and fight hard to protect your future.

Call the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience fighting for the futures of his professional clients nationwide. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!

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