A 45-year-old nurse has been charged with stealing for her own use a powerful narcotic from an east metro hospital where she worked.

Della R. Thalin, of New Richmond, Wis., was charged Monday in federal court in Minneapolis with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance while employed at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater.

According to the charge, Thalin stole hydromorphone -- a derivative of morphine -- from secure storage cabinets that she accessed with her user identification and password. The thefts allegedly occurred from Feb. 25 to March 19.

Thalin no longer works at Lakeview, hospital spokesman Jeff Shelman said.

"We continue to review and update our security policies to prevent similar incidents from occurring," Shelman said in a statement. "We want to ensure that patients receive the correct amount of medication, and we work hard to eliminate any medication diversion."