Board suspends nurse’s license 17 months after arrest in stabbing incident

The Iowa Board of Nursing has suspended the license of a nurse who allegedly stabbed a man in the head in November 2020 and then borrowed bail money from a patient’s spouse.

According to court documents and board records, Alicia Schoolcraft, 35, of Mystic, was working as a home health nurse for Iowa Home Care in November 2020 when she was arrested in connection with a disturbance domestic.

Police records indicate Schoolcraft and her boyfriend, Zach Garner, had been in a physical altercation resulting in serious injury to Garner, who had a large laceration on the back of his head. The police report indicated Schoolcraft and Garner were in a verbal argument when she went to the kitchen, retrieved a large knife, and “proceeded to stab/puncture the victim on the top of his head, near his left shoulder blade, and also caused a laceration on his right hand.”

Police officers also noted that Schoolcraft was unbalanced and had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. Empty alcohol containers and blood were seen throughout the residence.

Schoolcraft was arrested for felon willful injury and misdemeanor domestic abuse assault. She was placed in the Wapello County Jail, where she called the wife of one of her home-care patients and asked for a $500 loan to be used as bail money so she could be released from jail, according to the board.

State records indicate Iowa Home Care fired Schoolcraft on Nov. 19, 2020, for violating the company’s ethics policy.

Last October, the Iowa Board of Nursing filed a statement of charges against Schoolcraft. Although the board’s statements of charges are considered public documents, the board never posted that document to its website, so it’s not clear what the charges entailed.

However, the board’s more recent final decision in the case has been made public, and it indicates the board’s charges were tied not to the stabbing, but to the bail-money request, resulting in a single charge of soliciting, borrowing, or misappropriating money or property from a patient.

At a board hearing in January, Schoolcraft stated that she was highly intoxicated on the night of the incident and was not thinking clearly when she asked her patient’s wife for bail money. According to the board, she also admitted suffering from alcoholism and an addiction to pain pills, adding that she had been sober for one year.

Recently, the board a notice of its April 2022 decision ordering that Schoolcraft’s license be indefinite suspended until she provides verification of comprehensive published comprehensive substance abuse and mental health evaluations and completes 15 hours of education on ethics and professionalism.

If Schoolcraft’s substance abuse evaluation does not result in a recommendation for treatment, her license will be automatically reinstated. Upon reinstatement, Schoolcraft’s license shall be placed on probation for a period of 12 months, during which time she will submit to a chemical screening program and several other board-imposed requirements.

Schoolcraft’s criminal case is still pending, with the court having so far issued seven orders for continuance. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Aug. 17. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the willful injury charge.

In other matters, the Board of Nursing recently published notice of additional disciplinary actions against several other Iowa licensees, including:

Joshua Spiewak of Urbandale: In April 2021, the board charged Spiewak with possession of a controlled substance after he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. The criminal charge was later dismissed after Spiewak completed an educational course on substance abuse. With the licensing charge still pending, Spiewak is admitted having used methamphetamine once or twice per week. A board hearing on the matter was held in July 2021, at which Spiewak failed to appear. In September 2021, the board opted to let Spiewak keep his license, subject to two years of probation. Spiewak recently surrendered his license “as an alternative to compliance” with the board’s probationary order, which had required him to submit to chemical screenings and evaluations. Spiewak can apply for reinstatement of his license in April 2023.

Veronica Park of Council Bluffs: In May, the board charged Parks with exceeding the limits on her scope of practice. She was accused of practicing intravenous-line insertions on an acquaintance outside of a clinical or training setting, and then posting photos of it on her social media accounts in April 2021. Parks has agreed to a settlement that requires her to complete 30 hours of education on critical thinking.

Catherine Crockett of Hiawatha: In May, the board charged Crockett with exceeding the limits on her scope of practice. The board alleged that at some point in the past, Crockett was working at an “emergency hospital” – the board did not name the hospital – when she became ill and made an unauthorized request for intravenous fluids, which she then received. Crockett has agreed to a settlement that requires her to complete 30 hours of education on critical thinking.

Rebecca Collins of Stronghurst, Illinois: The board alleges that in June 2021, Collins submitted to a pre-employment drug screening that showed positive results for unprescribed marijuana and hydrocodone. The board recently agreed to issue Collins a warning that any future violations could result in disciplinary action.

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