A nurse at Penn Highlands DuBois accused of stealing drugs was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program yesterday.
Kaitlin Danielle Rucinski, 25, of Penfield was charged with possession of a controlled substance and furnishing false records, both of which are ungraded misdemeanors.
Judge Paul Cherry accepted her application into the ARD program, which is a rehabilitation program for non-violent defendants with little or no prior record.
Cherry ordered her to pay $650 plus costs to defray the cost of the program and placed her on ARD probation for two years. She will also lose her professional license for two years.
Cherry also ordered her to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment, prohibited her from possessing or consuming alcohol or controlled substances without prior approval from the probation department and to perform 60 hours of community service.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Rucinski was a registered nurse at Penn Highlands DuBois and on April 26 two patients were being treated at the hospital. At 1:06 a.m. Rucinski documented that she administered 4 mg of morphine to a patient at the order of the attending physician.
At 1:32 a.m. she entered into the computer she administered 4 mg of morphine to a second patient.
The physician, while reviewing the records, noticed the two injections and told the charge nurse, “I did not verbally order this medication.”
On Oct. 15, agents with the state attorney general’s office interviewed Rucinski at the Region IV Office in State College. During the interview, Rucinski said during her employment at Penn Highlands DuBois she took narcotics for her personal use.
She said she would load syringes with Dilaudid, morphine, and fentanyl and would inject them into her leg when she got home.
She also admitted to creating the verbal orders for morphine on April 26 knowing the doctor never made those orders, and took the 4 mg vials of morphine for personal use.
She was represented by the law office of David Hopkins of DuBois.