A former St. Vincent Healthcare nurse has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to swapping a patient’s prescription pain pills for over-the-counter drugs.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Sheila White to four years of probation on Tuesday, on a single count of tampering with consumer products. Under a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed a second count of acquiring hydrocodone by fraud, forgery and deception.

White removed an unspecified number of hydrocodone pills from their packaging in December 2018 and replaced them with generic acetaminophen, which was then given to a patient, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney for Montana Kurt Alme.

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The patient noticed she was being given different pills by White than by the other nurses, according to Alme’s office. The patient told officials she was in more pain during White’s shift than during other nurses’ shifts.

White later told law enforcement that she’d taken the pills and become addicted to them, the press release states. 

White's registered nurse license in the state of Montana remains active through December 2020, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry's website.

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