A former nurse who accepted thousands of dollars and inherited a mobile home from two elderly patients she looked after will pay a $17,500 fine, plus nurses’ college legal costs. Stock photo

Ex-nurse from Vancouver Island fined thousands after exploiting elderly couple

Former nurse from Nanaimo had power of attorney, inherited mobile home

A former nurse who accepted thousands of dollars, gifts and inheritance from two elderly patients she looked after will pay for her misdeeds.

Laurie Jeanne Tinkham of Nanaimo was ordered to pay more than $30,000 in fines and legal fees after an investigation by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia concluded that she financially exploited an infirm elderly couple.

According to a recently published decision by the CRNBC, Tinkham cared for an elderly couple, known only as M.W. and P.W., from 2010 until 2013. Between 2012 and 2013, Tinkham received more than $11,000 in cashed cheques from M.W.’s bank account, became power of attorney in relation to the couple’s financial matters, became a joint owner in the mobile home that she was living in with the couple and when the elderly couple died, the title of the mobile home was transferred to Tinkham, who retained ownership of it, according to the CRNBC decision.

The nurses’ college became aware of Tinkham’s actions in January 2013 from a Vancouver Island Health Authority employee, who had also been providing services to M.W. and P.W. and discovered what was happening. Shortly afterward, the college began conducting its own investigation and a series of hearings spanning until 2017.

According to the decision, Tinkham sent the nurses’ college a letter admitting to having power of attorney for M.W. as well as having a “very unusual” agreement with M.W. and P.W., which resulted in the elderly couple paying her $800 a month in return for services. The letter also stated that she received benefits through the “use of a trailer” as well as having her dental, optical and rent expenses paid for by the couple. M.W. also paid for prescription drugs for the nurse. Tinkham later told a CRNBC investigator that she considered M.W. a “very close” friend and that she received extra payments from him because she was “a few hundred dollars short” each month, the decision said. M.W.

The CRNBC’s decision said Tinkham failed to maintain proper boundaries with her clients and that her actions severely violate professional nursing standards. Tinkham was ordered to pay a $17,500 fine, plus pay the CRNBC’s court costs, which amounted to $16,535. Tinkham is also banned from reapplying to become a registered nurse in British Columbia for five years. The CRNBC stated the penalties imposed are intended to send a “strong message” to nurses and the public that such conduct will not be tolerated.

Tinkham has not been a registered nurse since 2013.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Just Posted

Port Alberni to host cruise ships again in 2019

Port Alberni last hosted a cruise ship in May 2013

Canadian Blood Services in need of donors

Port Alberni Blood Donor Clinic increasing to three days in June

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

High school artists show their work at Rollin Art Centre

The next art exhibit starts on Thursday, March 8

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Crowns asks for more time in Victoria double murder of young sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

‘You just don’t know when someone has a challenge’

Wounded Warriors Run BC spreads awareness of mental health, hopes to raise $100,000

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Most Read