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Iowa Nurse Admits She Stole Pain Medication from New Mothers Who Just Delivered Babies

Iowa Nurse Jailed for Stealing Pain Meds from New Mothers
Source: Mega

Iowa nurse was stealing pain meds from new mothers and using them herself.

Apr. 3 2024, Published 3:02 p.m. ET

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A labor and delivery nurse in Iowa was sentenced recently to one year and one day in prison for stealing pain medication from at least 50 new mothers for her own use, authorities announced.

Christina Eileen Olson, formerly Christina Eileen Hovey, 43, pleaded guilty on Oct. 12, 2023, to one count of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, and subterfuge; one count of adulteration and misbranding with intent to defraud and mislead; and one count of false statements relating to health care matters, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa.

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Olson was working as a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Waterloo in early 2022 when she diverted controlled substances prescribed to women who had just delivered babies, including by Cesarean section surgery, for her own use. The Schedule II narcotics included hydromorphone, oxycodone and fentanyl.

In one instance, a woman described as Mother 1 in court documents had given birth via c-section on March 23, 2022.

On March 25, 2022, Olson's duties included administering pain medication and documenting how much the newborn was eating every hour. But Olson never administered the pain medication, even though she documented on hospital records that she had.

Because of those false records, the mother, who was in "horrible and excruciating pain," was not given medication by the nurse on the next shift for at least 30 additional minutes.

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The baby also went hungry as a result of Olson not visiting the room during her shift. Despite the father's repeated requests for formula, their newborn did not receive any until the end of Olson's shift.

Another c-section patient Olson was supposed to care for did not speak fluent English. Olson also stole Mother 2's necessary pain medications. Mother 2's husband repeatedly complained to the hospital about her pain, to no avail.


On March 26, 2022, the hospital drug tested Olson, and the test was positive for opiates (oxycodone and hydromorphone) and marijuana.

Another nurse then found an open fentanyl vial, an open ephedrine vial and an epidural bag in another new mother’s room. Hospital records revealed that Olson had obtained the drugs under the new mother’s name even though there were no such orders for her.

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Lab tests later revealed that nearly all the fentanyl in the vial had been replaced with saline.

Olson admitted "she routinely drank alcohol and used marijuana while working at the Waterloo hospital." In order to pass a drug test, Olson "injected another person’s urine into her bladder."

Olson "callously stole pain medications from over 50 new mothers, subjecting them to additional suffering during their procedures,” U.S. Attorney Timothy T. Duax said in a statement. “Our office is committed to protecting new mothers, and all medical patients, from such violations of trust by prosecuting health care employees who prey on their patients.”

As a part of her plea agreement, Olson has forfeited her nursing license. In addition to a sentence of one year and one day in prison, Olson will serve three years of supervised release.

TMX contributed to this report.


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