St. Clare's nurse loses licence for stealing drugs from hospital

Suspect arrested in alleged carjacking at St. Clare's hospital

A nurse at St. Clare's Mercy Hospital in St. John's has lost her licence for stealing narcotics at the hospital.

Amanda Murphy was given a two year suspension in February by the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, ARNNL. 

The association said Murphy engaged in the "misappropriation of a large quantity of narcotics" on three separate occasions between March 2013 and February 2015.

ARNNL executive director Lynn Power isn't in a position to say how much narcotics was involved other than it "was significant".

Power said the drugs were removed from the employer's medication system.

"There was no justification — for example, an order to obtain it," said Power.

"Or there was no follow up documentation that it was given to a client or no record that it was given to a client." 

On one occasion narcotics were removed with a medication order but there was no record of the drugs being administered, or recorded as wastage.

On another occasion she removed narcotics without a medication order and there was no documentation of it being administered or recorded as wastage.

And in the third case she removed drugs without a medication order but documented as "administered".

The association said Murphy admitted to professional misconduct, "incapacity or unfitness to engage in the practice of nursing" and a breach of ethics. 

The ARNNL said Murphy admitted she had "engaged in conduct deserving of sanction." 

Return to work will include conditions

Murphy's licence is suspended for two years starting July 13, 2016, the date her licence renewal was put on hold.

When and if Murphy returns to work as a nurse it will be under strict conditions.

In order to get her licence back she needs to provide medical documentation that she is safe to return to nursing.

Once back to work, Murphy can't be the sole nurse responsible for medications for a two year period.

Among other things, she must also abstain from mood altering medications unless prescribed, provide random drug and alcohol tests, participate in treatment and counselling and withdraw and surrender her licence in the event of a relapse of her illness.

The complaint against Murphy was made by Eastern Health.