Former nurse at Lincoln hospital accused of stealing fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A former nurse at CHI Health St. Elizabeth is accused of taking fentanyl from the hospital.

Court documents show that an arrest warrant was issued for 35-year-old Krista Lierz on Thursday.

An investigator with the Nebraska State Patrol alleges that Lierz had access to fentanyl and that traceable amounts disappeared while under her supervision.

Between May and June 2022, Lierz is accused of improperly accounting for fentanyl waste in medical records.

CHI Health launched an internal investigation after Lierz tried to acquire a 25-microgram injection of fentanyl in June. The verbal order was declined.

The resulting audit showed that Lierz had checked out fentanyl 109 times in May, with nine discrepancies. In June, Lierz made 141 checkouts with 46 discrepancies, according to court documents.

All told, 2,615 micrograms of fentanyl were mishandled in June.

Discrepancies could include fentanyl being signed out for patients without a doctor’s orders, wasted without accounting or in a suspicious manner, or given to a patient within five minutes of being checked out.

On June 30, the hospital’s diversion response team met with Lierz, who denied taking the medication for herself or others.

She submitted to a urine test, which tested positive for fentanyl, according to court documents.

Lierz resigned from her position as a registered nurse at the hospital on July 6.

Records show Lierz had a prior arrest and conviction related to controlled substances between 2017 and 2018.

She is now charged with acquiring a controlled substance by fraud. Lierz has yet to be arrested.

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