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.