WARREN - An allegation that SCOPE of Trumbull County allowed a woman not credentialed as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse to provide nursing services has led to a criminal charge against the Warren woman.
A grand jury Thursday indicted Ayana Allen, 39, with unlicensed practice of nursing, a fifth-degree felony punishable with six to 12 months in jail.
The grand jury found that Allen, of Laird Avenue S.E., for a period of time in 2011, practiced as or represented herself as an LPN, when in fact, she didn't have a license to practice in Ohio and / or used the titles or initials, ''graduate nurse,'' ''GN,'' ''trained nurse,'' or ''T.N." to represent she was authorized to practice nursing in Ohio.
The period detailed in the indictment - May 23 to Sept. 28, 2011 - nearly mirrors the time contained in an account of findings against SCOPE by the Ohio Department of Aging.
That report from April says SCOPE from May 23 to Sept. 27, 2011, failed to check the credentials of their employee, Allen, and let her provide supervising services as a home care nurse when she was not licensed as a registered nurse or LPN.
Ohio law requires that the personal care activities supervisor, trainer and tester working for a long-term care agency that gives personal care services to people may only be an RN or LPN under the direction of a RN, according to the state report.
Interim SCOPE director Ralph Smith said Allen still is employed by the agency and will remain so. Smith said Allen's activity logs show she didn't perform any action other than taking blood pressure, which he said was not medically restricted, and her work was under the supervision of a registered nurse.
Smith said Allen now has her LPN certification.
''She is an outstanding employee, and we intend to retain her,'' Smith said.
Smith's arraignment is set for 1:30 p.m. June 25 before Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay.
The Ohio Department of Aging finding against SCOPE is among several that claim the agency failed to comply with regulations regarding criminal background checks and employee credentials. A hearing for SCOPE to challenge the findings is set for June 26 in Columbus.