Denver registered nurse summarily suspended

DENVER (Aug. 4, 2016) – The Colorado State Board of Nursing (Board) has summarily suspended the license of Colorado Registered Nurse Kacye Lyn Unruh, meaning she may not practice.

According to the summary suspension, Unruh is suspected of diverting controlled substances including Fentanyl and Dilaudid from University of Colorado Hospital, where she was formerly employed. On or about July 13, 2016, Unruh admitted to removing medications from a hospital Pyxis machine for her personal use, putting normal saline in the vials and then gluing the caps back on. An investigation confirmed the vials had been tampered with. Unruh was summarily suspended by the Board on July 22, 2016.

Drug diversion, which is a violation of state nursing laws and is grounds for discipline, including the revocation of a license, occurs when a controlled substance or a drug having similar effects is dispensed other than to the person to whom it is prescribed or is not wasted in accordance with generally accepted nursing standards. Additionally, drug diversion occurs when a controlled substance or a drug having similar effects is obtained without proper authorization from supplies, samples or wastage.

The Board is responsible for licensing nurses in the state and enforcing the State Nurse Practice Act. Based upon the information obtained in the Board’s investigation, the Board found that objective and reasonable grounds exist to believe that the Respondent (Unruh) is guilty of deliberate and willful violation of Article 38, Title 12, C.R.S., (Nurse Practice Act) and/or the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action. The public may review the Order of Summary Suspension for further details.

The Board and DPO continue to work to address prescription drug abuse and diversion by licensed healthcare practitioners, including working with hospitals and employers in the state to raise greater awareness about drug diversion, educating hospital employees about reporting suspicious behavior, and encouraging early information sharing for cases involving licensed healthcare practitioners. Recently, DPO hosted a webinar training in June 2016 with approximately 1,400 hospital employees and healthcare licensees.   

DPO encourages consumers to verify licenses and check for discipline when choosing or using healthcare professionals. Visit AskDORA.colorado.gov and click “Verify a License” or “File a Complaint.”
 
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The Division of Professions and Occupations at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) provides consumer protection through its regulation of nearly 400,000 licensees within more than 50 professions, occupations, and entities in the State of Colorado. DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675


Media Contact:
Vincent Plymell
Interim PIO, DPO
p: 303-894-2261