Santa Rosa Nurse Practitioner Pleads No Contest After Being Charged with Illegally Issuing Prescriptions

PrintA Santa Rosa nurse practitioner pleaded no contest last week after being charged with illegally issuing prescriptions to her family members.

An investigation led by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit in the Hayward Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that nurse practitioner Mary Carroll-Ambrose, of Santa Rosa, wrote 48 prescriptions for opioid controlled substances to her husband, daughter and son. There were over 9,000 pills prescribed over a two-year period.

The pills included opioid painkillers such as Norco, hydrocodone and codeine.

As a nurse practitioner, Carroll-Ambrose’s practice and prescribing was supposed to be supervised by a physician at her employer, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, but her supervising physician had not authorized Carroll-Ambrose to prescribe narcotics to her family members and he was unaware of her prescribing activity.  Additionally, there were no records to indicate that Carroll-Ambrose had been treating family members in the normal course of practice at her employer.

The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office charged Carroll-Ambrose with four felony counts of illegally issuing prescriptions as a result of her writing prescriptions to her family which were allegedly not for a legitimate medical purpose and were not written in the usual course of her professional practice.  Carroll-Ambrose pleaded no contest to one felony count.

Carroll-Ambrose will appear in court for sentencing on October 14, 2015.

On June 15, 2015, the Board of Registered Nursing filed an Accusation to pursue disciplinary action against Carroll-Ambrose’s nursing license, which can be read here.