A Trumbull County judge Tuesday dismissed a felony charge of practicing nursing without a license against a Warren woman who the Ohio Department of Aging said was working as a nurse for SCOPE Inc. of Trumbull County in 2011.
Ayana Allen, 40, of Laird Avenue Northeast, worked for SCOPE for four months in a nursing position before she had her nursing license, officials said last year.
It was one of many issues the Ohio Department of Aging found within SCOPE in February 2012 when it audited the organization’s records.
Other issues involved SCOPE failing to conduct background checks on 22 employees who provided direct care to clients and failing to secure background checks within five business days of the hiring of 29 other employees.
The agency lost its certification to serve as a long-term care provider for senior citizens after the allegations came to light.
Judge Peter Kontos of common pleas court dismissed the charge after the county prosecutor’s office filed a motion with the judge asking for the charge to be dismissed on the grounds that Allen “did not engage in the practice of nursing without a license as defined by Ohio law nor did she imply or represent to the public that she was authorized to practice nursing in this state.”
Prosecutors said the allegation was that Allen was signing the initials “GPN” after her name on “internal forms” used by SCOPE in the months after she finished nursing school but before she had passed her licensing test.
The GPN designation was something allowed in Ohio at one time but was outlawed about 20 years ago.
Allen was advised by a supervisor to use the GPN designation, but the documents did not involve the public, so it would have been difficult to prove that she represented herself in a public way as a licensed nurse, prosecutors said.
Allen did pass her licensing test while the case was in progress, prosecutors added.