New Jersey Board of Nursing Permanently Revokes License of Bergen County Registered Professional Nurse After Video Purportedly Shows Her Slapping and Roughly Treating a Ventilator-Dependent, Bed-Bound Patient
NEWARK – The State Board of Nursing has permanently revoked the license of a Bergen County Registered Professional Nurse after a video purportedly showed her slapping and roughly treating a ventilator-dependent, bed-bound patient she was assigned to care for in his home.
Dorothea Harvilik, RN, voluntarily surrendered her license, to be deemed a permanent revocation effective immediately, in a Consent Order with the Board that resolves the allegations against her.
The patient’s mother set up a camera to record Harvilik’s interactions with her son after she noticed scratches on his hands.
“These are sickening allegations involving the mistreatment of a defenseless patient,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “Patients as vulnerable as this young man are at the mercy of their medical caregivers and Nurse Harvilik allegedly showed him none. We will act swiftly and aggressively to protect patients from being abused by bullies masquerading as healthcare providers.”
“It is imperative to the safety and welfare of the public that individuals practicing as licensed nurses abide by strict standards of care,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “By moving quickly to revoke Nurse Harvilik’s license amid these very serious allegations, the Board has demonstrated its commitment to upholding these standards that patients expect and deserve.”
Harvilik was an employee of a Teaneck home health care service agency assigned to provide skilled nursing care to the patient in his home. After the video purportedly caught her abusing the patient, the agency terminated Harvilik for “professional misconduct which relates adversely to patient care or safety.”
Harvilik’s employer reported the termination to the Board, as required by the state’s Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act. The law requires, among other things, that health care entities notify the Division of Consumer Affairs in writing when a health care professional working for them is fired or sanctioned for reasons relating adversely to patient care or safety. Upon receiving notice of Harvilik's termination, the Board immediately opened an investigation, which resulted in the immediate and permanent revocation of Harvilik’s license.
Under the Consent Order, Harvilik agreed to the revocation without making admissions to the allegations against her. Under the order, she shall not hereafter apply for a reinstatement of her license.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Barbara J.K. Lopez, of the Division of Law, is representing the State in this matter.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
Follow the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office online at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. The social media links provided are for reference only. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office does not endorse any non-governmental websites, companies or applications.