Leslie Nodine’s Certified Nursing Assistant certificate was revoked by the State Board of Nursing March 14, but she said she did not challenge the findings because she no longer wanted the license.
Nodine of Fox administered a product containing marijuana to a patient without a medical order for the substance and violated professional boundaries with the patient and the patient’s family member, and threatened a coworker who hit her, according to the final order signed by board president Barbara Turnipseed.
A notice of the proposed revocation was sent to Nodine Feb. 21, giving her 20 days to request a hearing, but no request was received, so the board issued the final order by default.
Nodine told the Eagle she sent a letter to the board March 7, stating she did not want a hearing and did not intend to renew her license that she first received in December 2016 because Blue Mountain Hospital District was the only entity in Grant County that employed licensed CNAs.
Nodine was fired from the hospital district after the incident with the coworker, though she claims she is the victim in the altercation.
Nodine admitted giving a patient with multiple sclerosis a piece of candy containing cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which she made at home using CBD oil she purchased online, at the request of the patient and the patient’s family member in January 2017, the order states.
Nodine told the Eagle she was not working at the time, but she delivered the candy to a patient where she worked. She said she did so as a friend, not a care provider, and told her employer she would continue to provide the CBD oil product to the patient’s family member outside of the work setting if necessary.
“When I’m at work, that’s one thing, but when I’m not at work, that’s another thing,” Nodine told the Eagle. “And, yes, I took it up there on a day I wasn’t even working. She had three pieces in a bag.”
In Oregon, it is legal for a person 21 or older to purchase CBD oil and to share or give it away, without compensation, to someone 21 or older.
However, the board ruled CNAs are “not authorized to administer substances to patients without the appropriate medical order or instruction,” and Nodine acknowledged she knew the patient did not have a medical order, according to the board’s final order.
The order states Nodine also failed to document the administration of the CBD product or notify the patient’s care team.
Nodine told the Eagle she began making the CBD oil candy for her father who was fighting cancer in 2016.
“I was very close to my father, and I watched him die of cancer (Jan. 4, 2017),” she said. “The only thing that helped him with pain was CBD oil, or he had to be on morphine.”
Heather Wall said she and her mother, Alana Pointer, who has multiple sclerosis, were discussing using marijuana as a treatment in Pointer’s room at the care center when Nodine was present.
“The doctor had told (Pointer) marijuana could help ease the pain of the seizures,” Wall said. “Leslie had some, so we agreed she could try it. But when she came in to give it to my mom, she was not at work. She was visiting with my mom on her own time, and she still goes in to see my mom.”
Wall said she and her mother were shocked to learn the board revoked Nodine’s CNA license. She said her mother is confined to a wheelchair and was unable to obtain the CBD oil herself.
“My mom could have went out and purchased it herself if she would have been able to. Just because they’re in a nursing home doesn’t give them any less rights,” she said. “We supported what (Nodine) did. We asked for it. We’re not happy with them using that as an excuse as part of the reason to revoke her license.”
The board also ruled Nodine threatened a coworker after the person hit her, which is against CNA regulations, according to the order.
Nodine told the Eagle she filed a complaint of patient abuse against the coworker in January 2017, and the coworker stopped communicating regularly with her. On Feb. 28, 2017, Nodine and the coworker had an altercation at work.
Nodine said the coworker was in a small utility room she needed to access and would not move. Nodine said she squeezed past the coworker to access the room and finished her tasks. She said she tried to squeeze past the coworker again to exit the room and, while doing so, told the coworker they should communicate about any issues between them.
Nodine said the coworker started yelling, wanted out of the room and said the conversation was over. Nodine said she moved out of the way, and the coworker flung the door open hitting Nodine in the side and shoulder and knocking her into a wall. Nodine said she regained her composure, opened the door and threatened to physically harm the coworker if the coworker hit her with a door again — a response she said she made while still in pain.
Nodine said she and the coworker were questioned by administrators, but Nodine did not feel she was able to tell her side of the story.
The termination letter sent to Nodine March 13, 2017, describes the altercation differently.
“Your actions from blocking a co-worker in a room in order to engage in an argument, refusing to allow the co-worker to leave the room, and your threat of violence against one of your coworkers which you admittedly made are egregious enough in nature that we have determined our only course of action at this time is to terminate your employment,” said Sheri McElravy, interim director of human resources, in the termination letter. “This incident also follows on the heels of numerous staff meetings and a specific night shift meeting, where instructions were given about appropriate behavior and communication styles, treating each other with respect and professionalism, and appropriate mechanisms for resolving differences.”
Nodine appealed the termination and met with CEO Derek Daly to discuss the matter, and Daly upheld the termination. Daly declined to discuss personnel matters with the Eagle, stating it was against hospital district policies.
Nodine also filed a workers’ compensation claim for her injury from the door. The claim was originally denied, but upon appeal, the denial was overturned. The claim is still being processed.
Nodine said the situation has been stressful. She said she attempted suicide about a year ago and has been in counseling ever since. She said she wants to put the ordeal behind her.
“I just want my shoulder fixed. I want to be able to brush my hair. I want to be able to take a shower,” she said, adding the stress related to the recent revocation has been difficult. “I thought it was over after I sent the letter (to the nursing board) saying I didn’t want my (CNA) license.”