Nurse loses license after drunk-driving arrest, allegations of missing narcotics

By: - August 31, 2023 2:11 pm

The Iowa Board of Nursing has revoked the license of a nurse who, while working at various Iowa care facilities, was accused of sleeping on the job and being responsible for missing patient narcotics. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa Board of Nursing)

The Iowa Board of Nursing has revoked the license of a nurse who, while working at various Iowa care facilities, was accused of sleeping on the job, being responsible for missing narcotics, leaving work without authorization, failing to administer patient medications and sitting in her car while on duty.

According to board records, Alicia Davis was a licensed nurse working in Iowa last year as an independent contractor through the employment agency Shiftkey. In September 2022, Davis was covering a nursing shift at Greenfield Rehabilitation and Health Care in Adair County when the facility filed a complaint about her with the board regarding missing medications.

Davis had allegedly explained the missing medications by stating she had accidentally doubled the dosage for two different patients, resulting in the shortage that was discovered during the next day’s inventory of narcotics.

A board investigator later examined records from Shiftkey and found that over the course of 14 months, various employers had raised concerns regarding missing narcotics during Davis’ shifts as well as alleged failures to administer patients’ medication and document her work. According to the board, concerns were also raised about Davis allegedly being in her car during her shift, sleeping while on duty and exhibiting odd behavior.

According to the board, a check of court records indicated Davis had been arrested months before the incident in Greenfield, on June 22, 2022, and charged with drunken driving and possession of a controlled substance. Police records indicated she was pulled over on U.S. 30 in Harrison County, after which an officer found a marijuana joint in the center console ash tray, along with THC vape pens, drug paraphernalia and edible marijuana.

In January of this year, the Board of Nursing charged Davis with committing an act that might adversely affect a patient and the unauthorized possession or use of a controlled substance.

On April 4, with the criminal charges still pending, the board held a hearing on the licensing charges. Davis did not appear for the hearing. Noting that there were “no court records in evidence documenting the criminal charge or any disposition,” the board said it could not find by a preponderance of evidence that Davis had violated state regulations prohibiting possession or a controlled substance. However, the board found Davis was guilty of unethical conduct with regard to the incident at the Greenfield care facility and revoked her license.

Three weeks later, Davis entered a plea of guilty to the drunken driving charge, prosecutors dropped the possession charge and Davis was sentenced to probation. She was later charged with violating the terms of her probation by failing to meet with her probation officer.

In June, after she failed to appear for a probation revocation hearing in court, a warrant was issued for her arrest. The probation violation charge is still pending.

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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.