Two former VA nurses were sentenced last month for lying to investigators about the medication they provided before a veteran’s death.
In 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Nina Nguyen, 27, and Andrewe Steven Hansen, 31, for lying about their actions leading up to the death of a veteran under their care. The issue of concern was whether the two nurses administered the correct dosage of medication prior to the veteran’s death or if the dosage was paused.
The nurses falsely stated to investigators that they did not pause medication when they, in fact, did pause medication prior to the veteran’s death. It seems likely the veteran’s death was caused, or at least impacted, by the failure to medicate timely. The nurses’ false statements were an apparent attempt to cover up their actions prior to the death.
The incident happened at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Police Service played a role in the investigation. There was no mention of a wrongful death lawsuit against VA in the matter.
From The DOJ Press Release on OKC VA Nurses
Both nurses knew they paused the medication but lied:
On September 6, 2022, a federal grand jury returned a three-count Indictment against NINA NGUYEN, 27, and Andrewe Steven Hansen, 31, both of Oklahoma City, for making false statements to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Police Service and to investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General, following the death of a patient. According to the Indictment, both Nguyen and Hansen claimed they did not pause medication being administered to the patient prior to the patient’s death, when they both knew they did pause medication.
Nguyen and Hansen both pleaded guilty to lying to a VA investigator. Nguyen was sentenced to six months incarceration in a federal prison for making a false statement to investigators with one year of supervised release. Hansen was sentenced to three months with one year of supervised release.
About Oklahoma City VA Medical Center
As part of VISN 19, the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center serves over 63,000 veterans in Oklahoma and north central Texas. It operates a 192-bed facility.
Specialized programs there include Mental Health Intensive Case Management, Reaching Out to Educate and Assist Health Care Families, Compensated Work Therapy, the Center for Alzheimer and Neurodegenerative Diseases, and animal assisted therapy.
The facility has an annual budget of more than $508 million.
FAQs – Oklahoma City VA Medical Center
Q: What was the budget allocation for the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center in 2019? A: In 2019, their budget was allocated more than $508 million for medical care and $5.2 million specifically earmarked for research purposes.
Q: What percentage of the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center’s employees are veterans? A: Approximately 27% of their workforce, which totals around 2,600 employees, are veterans.
Q: How many prescriptions does the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center pharmacy fill annually? A: Their pharmacy fills more than 1.6 million prescriptions each year.
Q: Did the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center receive any special medical equipment for Veterans with spinal cord injuries? A: Yes, in 2018, it was one of only 15 VA medical centers nationwide to receive the exoskeleton robotic device. This advanced equipment can assist veterans with spinal cord injuries in walking again.
Q: Is the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center unique in any surgical procedures? A: Indeed, they are the only VA medical facility that performs minimally invasive outpatient lumbar spine fusion surgeries.
Q: Has the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center hosted any special events for expecting veteran families? A: Yes, in May 2018, they hosted their first VA baby shower. This event celebrated more than 30 veterans who were expecting a child, marking a special occasion in their lives.