Registered Nurse Sentenced to Five Years in State Prison

Kelseyville woman plead no contest to three felonies

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Registered nurse (RN) Athina Cook, of Kelseyville, appeared in Lake County Superior Court on May 21, 2018 and was sentenced to five years and four months in state prison. In March, she pleaded no contest to two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and one felony count of causing injury while driving under the influence.

Cook was investigated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI), Investigation and Enforcement Unit-Sacramento Field Office.

DOI investigators found that while Cook was working as an RN at a hospital in Clearlake in November 2015, she diverted controlled substances, including dilaudid and morphine, which were purportedly for her patients. Cook was sentenced to 16 months in prison for obtaining the controlled substances by fraud.

In a separate investigation conducted by the Lakeport Police Department, Cook was found to have caused a non-fatal, head-on collision while she was driving under the influence and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Cook has been prohibited from practicing as a registered nurse since April 2017 due to her ongoing criminal prosecution.

The California Board of Registered Nursing will review her case and take disciplinary action as appropriate.

The order restricting Cook’s RN license can be read here.


Chico RN Charged with Felony Elder Abuse of Patient who Died While Under her Care

Registered Nurse Allison Joann Guster, of Chico, will be arraigned on June 2, 2017, in Butte County Superior Court.  She has been charged with one felony count of elder abuse following the death of a patient that was in her care.  The charge filed by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office includes a seven year enhancement due to the age of the patient. 

Guster was a night-shift nurse, assigned to care for a patient recovering from surgery.  The investigation revealed that after the patient was found dead in her room early the next morning, Guster allegedly made false entries in the patient’s medical record to indicate that she had been monitoring the patient throughout the night.  Video surveillance showed that Guster had not been in the patient’s room for over six hours.

The case was investigated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Sacramento Field Office.

The Board of Registered Nursing is reviewing the case and will take disciplinary action against Guster’s license as appropriate.

Click HERE to view the Butte County District Attorney’s Office press release.


Clovis Nurse Charged with Multiple Felony Counts, Including Practicing Medicine Without a License

PrintJennifer Steinbach, a registered nurse from Clovis, will appear in Fresno County Superior Court on December 8, after being charged with 29 felony counts. Charges include 12 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, 16 counts of making false statements in prescription records, and one count of practicing medicine without a license.

The charges are the result of an investigation led by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Central Valley Field Office.

The investigation found that while employed at a hospital in Fresno, Steinbach allegedly obtained controlled substances including Dilaudid, Diazepam, Morphine, and Hydrocodone illegally.

Steinbach has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The California Board of Registered Nursing will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against Steinbach’s license.