HELENA — The Montana Board of Nursing has suspended the license of a registered nurse who was fired from Billings Clinic for stealing narcotics intended for patients and replacing the drug with saline.

The board issued an emergency suspension of Donald Mills' license on March 30 after he acknowledged diverting fentanyl from a dispensing cabinet in the cardiac catheter lab and using it without a prescription.

The board's notice said Mills reported he began using fentanyl left over from patient procedures in November 2016 and later used syringes to remove fentanyl from vials and replaced it with saline. Fentanyl is used to treat pain and for sedation.

Mills' license may be revoked after further investigation.

Billings Clinic recently notified 341 patients that their treatment may have been affected by the theft without identifying the nurse involved.

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