Former Nurse Gets Prison Time for Stealing Drugs

A former nurse is headed to prison for taking patients' pain medication, sometimes replacing it with a diluted dose.

Lisa Cowger, 44, was sentenced Wednesday in Lackawanna County Court to 11 to 23 months. The Times-Tribune reports she pleaded guilty in March to obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation and other counts.

Once a nurse at Moses Taylor Hospital, she has surrendered her nursing license.

Investigators say she took hydromorphone, morphine and Percocet from the hospital's supply for her personal use. They also allege she swapped out patients' pain medications with saline solution. Authorities haven't determined how many patients were affected.

"When I was approached initially by the investigators and this was described, I was appalled," said Deputy District Attorney Shane Scanlon who prosecuted the case. "I mean, who would think that you are laying in a hospital bed in pain and someone is telling you they're giving you pain medication and you are not getting it,” according to the paper.

Cowger apologized in court and says alcohol treatment has given her time to learn the meaning of gratitude, accountability, remorse and acceptance.

"I feel really, really bad that I have done this," she said. "Punishment is deserving."

Cowger also surrendered her nursing license, according to the report.


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