Iowa nurses sanctioned for sex with patients, meth use and other violations

By: - March 28, 2022 3:13 pm

The Iowa Board of Nursing has suspended the license of a nurse who allegedly had sex with a former psychiatric patient. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa Board of Nursing)

The Iowa Board of Nursing has suspended the license of a nurse who allegedly had sex with a former psychiatric patient.

At its January meeting, the board voted to suspend the license of Shawn Sandersfeld of Muscatine indefinitely and ordered a mental-health and chemical-dependency evaluation.

Once that evaluation is completed, Sandersfeld must submit to any treatment that is recommended and, after showing proof of 12 months’ sobriety, may resume practice while serving a 12-month period of probation. Sandersfeld must also complete a three-day course on professional boundaries and ethics and submit to case-manager evaluations pertaining to competency and the ability to interact professionally with co-workers and patients.

The sanctions are tied to allegations by the board Sandersfeld was working as a psychiatric mental health nurse at an unspecified hospital in 2019 and provided nursing services to a particular patient who was discharged in July 2019.

According to the board, from August 2019 through June 2021, the patient lived at Sandersfeld’s home and the two engaged in a sexual relationship during that time.

Board sanctions nurses in separate cases

According to the Iowa Board of Nursing, these other nurses have recently faced sanctions from the board:

Patrick Jones, Waterloo – Jones agreed to immediately relinquish all rights to practice nursing in the state of Iowa and surrendered his license. He can apply for reinstatement in 12 months. According to the board, Jones was employed at a care facility, unspecified by the board, from September 2019 until July 2021.

At some point during his employment, the board alleged, Jones “sent electronic communication to staff that created an uncomfortable work environment.” According to the board, Jones “communicated conversations that were sexual in nature with a patient” and he engaged in “sexual actions with a patient.”

James Dickerson, Neola – The board ordered Dickerson to immediately stop providing any treatment to patients with a complex mental health diagnosis until he received certification as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. The board also fined Dickerson $1,000 and ordered him to undergo five hours of consultation with a nurse practitioner. The settlement stemmed from charges that Taylor exceeded his scope of practice and dispensed drugs to individuals whose care was not within his specialized, licensed area of practice.

Miranda Figueroa, Omaha – Figueroa agreed to immediately relinquish all rights to practice nursing in the state of Iowa and surrendered her license. She can apply for reinstatement in 12 months. Last October, the board charged her with an inability to safely practice nursing as a result of a physical or mental condition. At that time, the board indicated it had “sought provider approval” for Figueroa to safely practice nursing and that no provider had given that approval.

Kristine Wikner, McGregor – Wikner agreed to undergo 10 hours of educational instruction on nursing documentation. In October, the board alleged she was working at a nursing home in 2020 when a family member was admitted to the facility. Although she was instructed not to access her family member’s medical records, she allegedly went into her relative’s medical chart and changed some of the information entered there by another worker.

Nathan Tucker, Sioux City – Tucker agreed to undergo 60 hours of educational instruction on critical thinking and nursing procedures. The board alleged that in October 2020, while working at a hospital emergency department, Tucker administered intravenous medication to patients on three occasions without a physician’s order, failed to assess the IV sites, and failed to provide accurate information to a physician.

Terry Seitz, Williamsburg — Seitz agreed to immediately relinquish all rights to practice nursing in the state of Iowa and surrendered her license. She can apply for reinstatement in 12 months. In September 2020, she was allegedly working at an unspecified facility when she had to be transported by emergency services to a hospital where she tested positive for amphetamines, marijuana and non-prescription opioids.

Mona Taylor, Rock Island, Ill. – Taylor agreed to immediately relinquish all rights to practice nursing in the state of Iowa and she surrendered her license. She can apply for reinstatement in 12 months. The factual circumstances that triggered the action have yet to be made public. The board states that it filed a statement of charges against Taylor in October 2021, but that statement of charges has yet to be published by the board.

Kori March, Sioux City – March agreed to undergo 60 hours of educational instruction pertaining to professional ethics and what the board called “nurse’s legal advisor.” Last fall, the board alleged that while working at an unspecified long-term care facility between 2018 and 2021, she performed “intravenous therapy functions” without having the IV-therapy certification required of licensed practical nurses.

Jennifer Mayberry, Waukee – Mayberry agreed to have her license placed on probation for 18 months, during which time she must abstain from the use of alcohol and illicit drugs, submit to case-manager evaluations and chemical screening, and undergo mental health counseling. Last summer, the board alleged that during a pre-employment health screening in 2021, Mayberry tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Derrick Miller, West Branch – Miller agreed to have his license placed on probation for 12 months and to undergo six hours of educational instruction on medication safety. Last fall, the board alleged that in February 2021, while working at an unspecified nursing home, Miller lost the keys to the home’s medication cart, left the unlocked cart unattended, and then left medication at a resident’s bedside without a doctor’s order to do so.

Eleven months earlier, Miller allegedly gave oxycodone to a resident who had not complained of pain and did not request the medication. In 2014, Miller’s license was indefinitely suspended pending completion of board-ordered treatment and verification of 12 continuous months of sobriety, followed by 12 months of license probation. The 2014 sanctions stemmed from charges of misappropriation of medications and being involved in the unauthorized manufacture or use of a controlled substance.

Ronda Eick, Waterloo – The board issued Eick a warning and ordered her to undergo 34 hours of educational instruction on COVID-19 and medical documentation. Last fall, the board alleged that while Eick was working at an assisted living center in 2021, she received a text message from a co-worker who stated that he or she had COVID-19. Eick did not notify human resources, the facility’s clinical coordinator or the staff’s health nurse of that information.

A few days earlier, two residents of the center had tested for COVID-19, with one showing a positive result and the other showing an inconclusive result. According to the board, Eick falsely reported that one of the two residents had tested negative for COVID-19. In 2008, the board ordered Eick to complete 15 hours of educational instruction related to ethics. That sanction stemmed from her pleading guilty to a criminal charge of theft tied to allegations that she stole money collected by colleagues for the benefit of a co-worker.

McKinsey Schurr, LeClaire – The board issued Schurr a warning for excessive use of alcohol after it allegedly received information that Schurr had an alcohol-use disorder. The board charged Schurr with excessive use of alcohol that may impair a licensed nurse’s ability to practice.

Rhonda Adkins, Grinnell – Adkins agreed to under 30 hours of educational instruction on professional ethics. Last fall, the board alleged Adkins was employed as a home care nurse in 2021 when she falsified patient records and employee timecards to indicate she was providing care for a patient on dates when she did not actually work.

Jennifer Evins, Rock Island, Ill. – Evins agreed to immediately relinquish all rights to practice nursing in the state of Iowa and surrendered her license. She can apply for reinstatement in 12 months. Last fall, the board alleged that in 2020, Evins was convicted of a crime related to the profession of nursing and the theft of patient medications.

As a result of the criminal conviction, Evins’ license was placed on probation in October 2020 and she was barred from using alcohol while on probation. In June 2021, she allegedly tested positive for alcohol use and later admitted she had been drinking.

Amanda Bendon, Dubuque – Bendon agreed to undergo up to 10 hours of educational instruction on ethics and legal liability. The board had alleged that Bendon was working at an unspecified medical clinic in 2020 when she removed a vial of Pentacel from the clinic, took it home and administered it to her child without a prescription and without permission from the clinic. Pentacel is used as a vaccine for immunization against diphtheria, tetanus and other conditions.

Jennifer Mastin, Walnut – Mastin agreed to undergo up to 10 hours of educational instruction on ethics and legal liability and have her license placed on 12 months’ probation. The board had alleged that on more than one occasion while working at an unspecified care center, Mastin disposed of medication without the required witness; removed two narcotics from the inventory and administered only one dose; and failed to document the administration of narcotics to residents.

Tricia Venzke, Ames – Venzke agreed to undergo 30 hours of educational instruction on managing difficult patients. The board had alleged that in 2021, while dealing with a combative hospital patient, Venzke “reacted physically inappropriately to the patient.”

Miranda Depyer, Graettinger – Depyer agreed to undergo seven hours of educational instruction on professional accountability and critical thinking skills. The board had alleged that in April of last year, Depyer responded to an ambulance call for a woman in labor. While en route to a hospital, Depyer allegedly gave the woman a dose of Pitocin — a natural hormone sometimes used to induce labor — without a physician’s order.

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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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