Calif. Registered Nursing Board Follows Up on Our Nurses Stories
The California Board of Registered Nursing has taken the following actions against nurses featured in a series of stories by ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times:
- Suspended the license of Owen Jay Murphy Jr. in August. He had been accused of physically and verbally assaulting patients at three Southern California hospitals. The board had allowed Wilson to continue practicing while it pursued allegations against him, but regulators changed course after a July article.
- Filed a petition to revoke the probation of Melony Currier in July. While in the state’s confidential recovery program for impaired nurses, she failed repeatedly at rehabilitation. She also tested positive for alcohol while on probation, missed a mental health exam and skipped a host of drug tests.
- Revoked the license of Wilma Walker in October. She was fired by Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in June 2005 because she allegedly failed to check a critically ill patient’s heart-rate monitor. She was accused of charting the patient’s vital signs at a time when he was, in fact, dead.
- Accepted the surrender of Dorothy Wilson’s license in August. In 1999, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine put her on five years’ probation for repeated acts of negligence. The following year, as a nurse handling anesthesia during a breast enlargement operation, Wilson did not notice that the patient had stopped breathing, according to filings in a subsequent malpractice suit against Wilson and the surgeon.
- Filed an accusation against Haydee Parungao in August. She was convicted in 2006 of bilking Medicare out of more than $3 million, billing for hundreds of visits to Southern California patients that she never made and charging for visits while she was out of the country or gambling at Southern California casinos.
California has failed to protect patients from nurses who are incompetent and dangerous.
The Story So Far
In California, nurses accused of serious wrongdoing have often been left free to practice for years while their cases were being investigated—with patients unaware of the danger.
The board that oversees the state’s registered nurses has taken more than three years, on average, to discipline nurses with histories of drug abuse, negligence, incompetence and violence.