A former nurse who accepted thousands of dollars and inherited a mobile home from two elderly patients she looked after will pay a $17,500 fine, plus nurses’ college legal costs. Stock photo

Ex-nurse from Vancouver Island fined thousands after exploiting elderly couple

Former nurse from Nanaimo had power of attorney, inherited mobile home

A former nurse who accepted thousands of dollars, gifts and inheritance from two elderly patients she looked after will pay for her misdeeds.

Laurie Jeanne Tinkham of Nanaimo was ordered to pay more than $30,000 in fines and legal fees after an investigation by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia concluded that she financially exploited an infirm elderly couple.

According to a recently published decision by the CRNBC, Tinkham cared for an elderly couple, known only as M.W. and P.W., from 2010 until 2013. Between 2012 and 2013, Tinkham received more than $11,000 in cashed cheques from M.W.’s bank account, became power of attorney in relation to the couple’s financial matters, became a joint owner in the mobile home that she was living in with the couple and when the elderly couple died, the title of the mobile home was transferred to Tinkham, who retained ownership of it, according to the CRNBC decision.

The nurses’ college became aware of Tinkham’s actions in January 2013 from a Vancouver Island Health Authority employee, who had also been providing services to M.W. and P.W. and discovered what was happening. Shortly afterward, the college began conducting its own investigation and a series of hearings spanning until 2017.

According to the decision, Tinkham sent the nurses’ college a letter admitting to having power of attorney for M.W. as well as having a “very unusual” agreement with M.W. and P.W., which resulted in the elderly couple paying her $800 a month in return for services. The letter also stated that she received benefits through the “use of a trailer” as well as having her dental, optical and rent expenses paid for by the couple. M.W. also paid for prescription drugs for the nurse. Tinkham later told a CRNBC investigator that she considered M.W. a “very close” friend and that she received extra payments from him because she was “a few hundred dollars short” each month, the decision said. M.W.

The CRNBC’s decision said Tinkham failed to maintain proper boundaries with her clients and that her actions severely violate professional nursing standards. Tinkham was ordered to pay a $17,500 fine, plus pay the CRNBC’s court costs, which amounted to $16,535. Tinkham is also banned from reapplying to become a registered nurse in British Columbia for five years. The CRNBC stated the penalties imposed are intended to send a “strong message” to nurses and the public that such conduct will not be tolerated.

Tinkham has not been a registered nurse since 2013.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ian Baikie is one of the forces behind the Hama?Elas Community Kitchen in downtown Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Food security a basic necessity

To Ian Baikie, helping solve Campbell River’s food insecurity problem is about… Continue reading

Since July 1, Campbell River Search and Rescue has been activated 20 times to respond to calls for people all over Vancouver Island. ( Campbell River Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Demand for Campbell River Search and Rescue volunteers keeps growing

Training is a crucial part of being a member of Campbell River… Continue reading

Alex Witcombe of Drifted Creations works in the newly-opened Walter Morgan Studio on a new work during the first Art & Earth Festival. This year’s festival will look very different. Mirror File Photo
Campbell River’s annual Art+Earth Festival sees major changes in third year

‘In a sense, we’re re-defining what a festival can be,’ says organizer Ken Blackburn

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

Most Read