Nurses lose licenses after misconduct

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN
  • Updated: November 15, 2010 - 10:00 AM

Two nurses submitted fake applications in order to get their licenses. Two others were caught with child porn. Another was accused of giving alcohol to a patient being treated for chemical dependency.

These nurses and four others had their licenses revoked by the Minnesota Board of Nursing in the first half of 2010.

The board currently oversees the licenses of more than 108,000 nurses. In the first six months of this year, the board received 750 complaints and took 184 disciplinary actions.

The board posts licensing actions online, which is where I found details of the revocations. The former nurses are listed in alphabetical order.

Vincent Belfleur: Belfleur's 2008 licensure in Minnesota was based on a false application. The nursing program he supposedly completed in Pago Pago, American Samoa, was not in operation at the time, and his application listed work experience at a facility that did not exist.

Dale F. Brown: Brown was acting as a nursing supervisor in 2007 at a home care facility in Adams even though he had surrendered his registration certificate earlier that year for noncompliance with a treatment program. The facility revised his job description to eliminate nursing duties, but he continued to act as a nurse.

Mary A. Cooper: Cooper admitted she diverted medications for personal use from two assisted-living facilities between 2005 and 2009 and sometimes substituted other medications. In October 2009 she was let go from a treatment program after she tested positive for narcotics.

Barbara A. Currin: Currin, owner of a Plymouth home health agency, provided substandard care as retaliation against a patient who had complained to the state, according to the nursing board's disciplinary order. In late 2007, Currin began delegating the administration of injectable medications to unlicensed staff. According to an investigation by the attorney general, Currin employed 10 family members at that time in her business, Ometta Vent Care Srvices Inc.

She administered medications to patients 123 times after her nursing license expired in December 2008. In October 2009 the state sued her for improperly billing the medical assistance program for almost 15,000 hours of registered nurse services.

Christopher M. Grotheim: Grotheim was convicted in Hennepin County in October 2009 of possession and dissemination of child pornography. He told the court he had a sexual addiction related to girls under age 14. The complaint said Grotheim appeared to have secretly photographed children's feet.

Michael M. Monzel: Monzel, a Wisconsin resident, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia in December 2009 to possessing and disseminating child pornography. He used an online chat room to describe his sexual abuse of a 2-year-old.

Shirley J. St. Germain: St. Germain advertised herself as a nurse under the name Shirley Vedder and offered "ear coning" services in 2006 and 2007, almost a decade after her license was suspended for mental health issues. She ignored orders telling her to stop when she again advertised in 2008.

Carol A. Sanstead: While working at a chemical dependency rehab center in Fergus Falls in 2008, Sanstead had sex with a patient and twice helped him escape from institutions, according to the board's order. Emergency workers, responding to anonymous calls after each incident, found the patient at Sanstead's home with a blood-alcohol content of more than 0.30 percent, the board found.

Monique Toussaint: She admitted she sent $15,000 to someone in Nigeria to receive an R.N. license and did no course work for it. Her 2008 application for licensure falsely claimed she attended a university in Guam and was licensed and practiced nursing there.

To file a complaint against a nurse go to bit.ly/945aMP or call 612-617-2270.

Each week, Hard Data digs into public records and puts a spotlight on rule breakers in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. You can contact me at jfriedmann@startribune.com.

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