Authorities have accused several area nurses of abusing patients, committing prescription fraud and/or falsifying medical records in separate cases.
Candida Marie Hornick, 44, of 118 Granny Smith Drive, Timberville, stands charged in Shenandoah County Circuit Court with one felony count of obtaining a drug by false pretenses and two misdemeanor counts of abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult that did not result in serious injury or disease.
Woodstock Police Department investigator S.W. Leake states in a criminal complaint filed with the charging documents that Hornick worked for Consulate Nursing Home in Woodstock. On Oct. 8, now former nursing home Director Cody Swartz investigated a discrepancy on Hornick’s medication cart on a patient’s narcotic sheet, the complaint states. Swartz spoke with Hornick and looked at her medication cart.
“Upon Hornick opening her cart, it was discovered there were multiple narcotics that were pre-punched out by Hornick showing a declining count, however, there were no signatures and no dates or times associated with them on the records,” the complaint states.
Swartz found the only pills remaining in the cart had not been pre-punched. Hornick could not provide any reason or excuse as to where the pills were, nor would she or could she respond when asked for their location, the complaint states. As she was being questioned, Hornick began writing in times for some of the narcotics that she had pre-punched. However, the times did not match up, according to the complaint. There were 15 narcotics missing and unaccounted for, all belonging to multiple patients, Leake notes in the complaint.
A separate criminal complaint dated July 11 and filed with Hornick’s charges states that the defendant gave a patient an extra pill of clonazepam above and beyond the prescribed amount within a six-hour period on Oct. 8.
A criminal complaint filed with the second abuse or neglect charge states that Hornick gave a different patient an extra pill of oxycodone above and beyond the prescribed dose at a specific time on Oct. 4. Hornick admitted in an interview that she saw a nurse administer a pill to the patient at the required time, the complaint states. Hornick admitted she then gave the patient a second pill above and beyond the prescribed amount.
A checklist completed by a magistrate to determine bail for Hornick states that the defendant worked as a licensed practical nurse for the Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home and rehabilitation center, at the time of her arrest. The magistrate granted Hornick a $2,000 unsecured bond.
Nancy Ann Tusing, 46, of 1425 Senedo Road, New Market, stands charged with falsifying patient records and abuse of an incapacitated adult. A criminal complaint filed with her charges states that she gave a patient an extra pill of lorazepam on Sept. 13 above and beyond the amount prescribed. Another criminal complaint states that Tusing documented on Sept. 13 that she gave medication to three patients at the same time twice that morning. Leake notes that it is impossible to administer medication to different patients at the same time. Tusing said in an interview that she wrote down inaccurate administration times to save time, the complaint states.
Leslie Margaret Winner, 33, of 421 Pleasant View Drive, Strasburg, stands charged with falsifying patient records and two counts of abuse of an incapacitated adult, all misdemeanors, and a felony charge of obtaining a drug by false pretenses.
Leake states in a criminal complaint filed with Winner’s charges that the accused allegedly wanted two pills of hydrocodone-acetamenaphen for a patient the night of Sept. 24. The complaint did not identify the facility at which Winner worked. Winner filled out the medication record and signed it with the initials of another employee not working at the time, the complaint states. The patient was prescribed one pill at each administration. Winner stated in an email she could not remember who witnessed her fill out the medication record, the complaint states.
A checklist for bail determinations states that Winner worked for DaVita Inc., a dialysis facility in Winchester, at the time of her arrest.
Another criminal complaint states that Winner gave a patient extra medication on Oct. 6, above and beyond the prescribed amount. The patient received four pills in a 6-hour period — double the amount prescribed — according to the complaint. Winner gave the same patient extra clonazepam on Oct. 7 above and beyond the prescribed amount, a separate criminal complaint states.
All three defendants are scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on Monday.
The Virginia Department of Health Professions lists Winner as a registered nurse and Hornick and Tusing as licensed practical nurses. Their licenses expire in 2020 and 2021.