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Pittsburgh nurse accused of stealing prescription pain pills from nursing homes

Nurse accused of stealing prescription pain pills
Nurse accused of stealing prescription pain pills 02:27

MCCANDLESS, Pa. (KDKA) — A nurse is accused of stealing hundreds of prescription pain pills from three nursing homes in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. 

Monica Blackwell of Pittsburgh's Hill District admitted to investigators that she took them for her own use.

Vincentian Home in McCandless is one of the three care facilities where Blackwell is accused of stealing narcotics, as well as medication for anxiety and panic disorders from 13 patients. 

Laura Sees knows how difficult it is to find a care facility for your loved one. So to hear that this happened at several facilities is disturbing. 

"My mother is in a care facility, and I wouldn't want that to happen to her," Sees said. 

Blackwell worked for a nursing agency contracted out by the three care facilities in McCandless, Baldwin and North Huntingdon. Vincentian Home, where Blackwell worked from mid-November through early December, was the first to identify a potential discrepancy during shift-to-shift counts of narcotics. 

In a statement to KDKA-TV, Vincentian House said, "This prompted a whole in-house audit, which revealed that eight residents could have been impacted by possible drug diversion. We applaud the staff at Vincentian Home who were first to identify this alleged criminal behavior." 

At the Grove in North Huntingdon, it was discovered that Blackwell allegedly took dozens of oxycodone tablets from blister packs for four patients in early January, but it was never recorded that she gave them pills. 

Blackwell is also accused of forging a letter from a UPMC behavioral health doctor in order to return to her job at Baldwin Health Center, where she is accused of not giving patients their prescribed meds.

She was arraigned and released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court in August.

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