Amanda Nash previously worked at Bay Medical Center and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center as a registered nurse before her license was suspended following incidents at both hospitals.
PANAMA CITY — A local nurse's license was suspended by emergency order last month after she was found to be under the influence of the powerful painkiller fentanyl while on the job.
Amanda Nash previously worked at Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center as a registered nurse before her license was suspended following incidents at both hospitals.
According to a Florida Department of Health complaint, Nash allegedly was showing signs of impairment during her Nov. 3, 2015, shift at Bay Medical Center. Staff at the hospital placed her in a room to recover, and Nash was later found “on the floor with a syringe of propofol in her hand.” Propofol is a prescription anesthetic and sedative. Nash subsequently was fired from Bay Medical.
A little more than a month later, staff at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center discovered Nash lying on the floor of a supply closet, the complaint stated. Nash said she was “suffering from a hot flash” and returned to work, only to allegedly be found later on the floor of a patient’s room in the ICU. According to the complaint, the patient was on a “continuous drip” of fentanyl and propofol, and Nash later tested positive for fentanyl but was not tested for propofol.
In September 2016, Nash was diagnosed with severe alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder. It is unclear whether Nash still was working at Gulf Coast at the time, as the hospital did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. As a result of her diagnoses and pattern of behavior, the Department of Health moved to immediately restrict her license, preventing her from practicing as a nurse until she completes a substance abuse recovery program with Intervention Project for Nurses.
Nash still has the right to a hearing before the department before a formal disciplinary action is issued. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
According to a 2011 article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, nurses have a substance abuse rate of about 20 percent, due largely to the stressful work environment and availability of medication.