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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna glider pilot crashes in the Columbia Valley

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the crash

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer displays COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Police keep eye on motorbike gang in Kelowna for poker run

The Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club Poker Run was to have taken place on July 11

Most Read