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Ex-nurse sentenced for drug theft at Fremont nursing home


BRENTWOOD — A former registered nurse who worked in a Fremont nursing home pleaded guilty to charges that she stole a Fentanyl patch meant for a 91-year-old woman.

Alissa Durgin, 31, of Raymond pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge in Rockingham County Superior Court as part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors.

She received a deferred 12-month county jail sentence and agreed to not seek work treating patients or having any access to controlled drugs, according to state prosecutors.

The Board of Nursing issued an emergency suspension of Durgin’s license on June 7, and her nursing license expired last August, according to state records.

Durgin worked as a registered nurse at Colonial Poplin, a nursing home in Fremont, and took the patch last May 6, prosecutors said.

State investigators matched Durgin’s DNA to the stolen patch, Denise Nies, executive director of the New Hampshire Board of Nursing, said in an emergency order.

State prosecutors say that Durgin retained the drug for her own use.

Had Durgin been convicted at trial, she could have faced up to 3 ½ to 7 years in state prison.

State regulators say that Durgin was suspected by fellow staff members of diverting the painkiller the day after she reported “wasting” an old patch that was on the woman for three days and claimed that she replaced it with a new one.

The facility’s procedures require a second staff member to verify that the medication was wasted. But staff members later learned that second nurse did not sign off on the paperwork, and someone else had written down the nurse’s initials, the state board concluded.

The woman who was supposed to receive the new dose of Fentanyl told staff that “a nurse had removed the old patch but failed to apply a new patch because she had an emergency in another room,” according to Nies.

The case was prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which investigates healthcare provider fraud and cases of abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. “My office will continue to investigate and vigorously prosecute caregivers who use their professional positions to obtain controlled drugs,” Attorney General Joe Foster said in a released statement.

jkimble@newstote.comDurgin had been a registered nurse with the state since Feb. 8, 2010.

jkimble@newstote.com

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