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California discipline for nurses

Individual cases of actions against registered nurses are detailed.

December 26, 2009

The California Board of Registered Nursing has taken the following actions against nurses featured in an ongoing series of stories by the nonprofit news organization ProPublica and The Times:

* Suspended the license of Owen Jay Murphy Jr. in August. He had been accused of physically and verbally assaulting patients at three Southern California hospitals. The board had allowed him to continue practicing while it pursued allegations, but regulators changed course after a July article.

* Revoked the license of Wilma Walker in October. She was fired by Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in June 2005 because she allegedly failed to check a critically ill patient's heart-rate monitor. She was accused of charting the patient's vital signs at a time when he was, in fact, dead.

* Accepted the surrender of Dorothy Wilson's license in August. In 1999, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine put her on five years' probation for repeated acts of negligence. The following year, as a nurse handling anesthesia during a breast enlargement operation, Wilson did not notice that the patient had stopped breathing, according to filings in a subsequent malpractice suit against Wilson and the surgeon.

* Filed an accusation against Haydee Parungao in August. She was convicted in 2006 of bilking Medicare out of more than $3 million, billing for hundreds of visits to Southern California patients that she never made and charging for visits while she was out of the country or gambling at Southern California casinos.

* Filed a petition to revoke the probation of Melony Currier in July. While in the state's confidential recovery program for impaired nurses, she failed repeatedly at rehabilitation. She also tested positive for alcohol while on probation, missed a mental health exam and skipped a host of drug tests.

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