Maria Anne Mihalik, former nurse, sucked Dilaudid from patients' IVs with syringe
Today, she pleaded guilty in federal court.
Police caught up with the 27-year-old Superior, Wis., woman, dressed in scrubs with a fake ID, after she tried to pass herself off as a nursing student on a day when none were scheduled for rounds.
Real nurses blew the whistle on her after they watched her moving from room to room and realized they didn't know who she was.
In at least three cases, she poked patients' IV bags with a syringe and sucked the painkiller out. When she was arrested, police found three full syringes in her pockets.
Mihalik was licensed as a nurse in Wisconsin, and worked as a registered nurse in Minnesota, most recently in Saint Mary's hospital in Duluth. The Minnesota Board of Nursing banned her from practicing in the state when news of her arrest became public.
She faces a maximum of four years behind bars.