Growing number of SWFL nurses losing their license

Posted at 8:54 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 20:59:15-05

Two Southwest Florida nurses are accused of stealing and using drugs while on the job.

Florida Department of Health stepping in to issue an Emergency Restriction Order to Marcello Nicolosi and Maureen O'Donovan. The move could lead to their nursing licenses eventually being revoked.

Nicolosi's license restricted after a coworker at Bayfront Hospital suspected suspicious activity and reported it. An audit later revealing nearly 1,000 doses of dilaudid that Nicolosi withdrew weren't given to patients.

Bayfront staff even found empty vials of the powerful pain killer in Nicolosi's work locker.

According to the report, Nicolosi confessed, was charged and fired.

Coworkers also noticed Maureen O'Donovan, who was at the time a long-time employee of Lee Memorial, may have been impaired while on the job.

They say she slurred her words and exhibited a delayed thought process.

When hospital administrators asked O'Donovan to take a drug test, she refused and resigned.

She later tested positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone as part of a Department of Health investigation.

The investigation, the latest of dozens of similar cases the DOH looks at each year. Last year, 30 registered nurses had their licenses revoked. The year before, 24. And in 2014, just 21 nursing licenses were revoked.