Iowa nurse found unconscious while on duty in Florida hospital surrenders license

By: - January 2, 2022 9:00 am

(Photo by Prapass Pulsub/Getty Images)

An Iowa-licensed nurse has agreed to surrender her license after being found unconscious, with a suspected drug overdose, while working in a Florida hospital.

According to the Iowa Board of Nursing, Jennifer Baeley of Center Point, provided the board with false information after the Tennessee Board of Nursing took action against her license in that state.

According to the Tennessee board, Baeley was working in the pediatric ward of the Williamson Medical  Center in Franklin, Tenn., in June 2020, when a drug audit indicated she had pulled narcotic medications for multiple patients and documented administering the drugs before they were removed from the medication cart, and had also established a pattern of nullifying, or voiding, more than two dozen drug transactions involving Benadryl. She was fired as a result.

One month later, while working in the transplant unit of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a drug audit indicated Baeley had administered medications not ordered by a physician, had pulled clusters of medications for multiple patients at once and had documented administering the drugs before the drugs were removed from the medication cart. She was fired that same month.

Four weeks later, while working as a travel nurse for Maximum Healthcare Staffing, a temporary-staffing agency based in Florida, Baeley was assigned to work at Advent Health Celebration, a hospital in Orlando. While on duty there, she was found unconscious with hospital narcotics in her possession. She was hospitalized for a suspected overdose and was fired days later for stealing patients’ narcotic medications.

The Tennessee board suspended Baeley’s license in May of this year. In July, the Iowa board accused Baeley of providing the board staff with false information regarding her license status. She has since agreed to surrender her Iowa license.

Other Iowa-licensed nurses subjected to disciplinary action in recent weeks include:

Meg Ehlers of Muscatine, who has agreed to surrender her Iowa nursing license. Board records indicate Ehlers was accused of “smelling of alcohol” and possessing just under one gram of marijuana on Nov. 12, 2020. Court records indicate that on that day, Ehlers was arrested on felony charges after being pulled over for driving erratically. A felony charge of possession of contraband was imposed, but later dismissed. Ehlers pleaded guilty to a charge of drunken driving and was granted a deferred judgment on charges of possession of marijuana and interference with official acts causing bodily injury.

Cara Klosterman of Sioux City, who has agreed to surrender her Iowa nursing license. Board records indicate that in November 2020, Klosterman agreed to participate in a drug-screening program, then failed to do so.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

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