Apparent suicide victim sought nursing job at hospital

A man who died in an apparent suicide at Valley View Hospital Monday in Glenwood Springs was a nurse with a disciplinary history in Colorado who had applied unsuccessfully for a job at the hospital in 2012.

Eric Knurr, 49, of Carbondale died Monday morning from what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a public restroom near the emergency department of the hospital. An autopsy was to be performed on him later this afternoon.

“He was not an employee here. He did apply to work here in February of 2012 and we decided at that time not to hire him,” hospital spokeswoman Stacey Gavrell said by e-mail, declining to speak in more detail.

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies records show Knurr had an active registered nursing license in Colorado. However, he received a letter of admonition in 2007 from the State Board of Nursing, which found he was abusive with a patient in intensive care in 2005 at the Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton.

State records show the patient was in restraints due to being extremely agitated, and resisted Knurr’s attempts to brush his teeth, causing Knurr to become frustrated and brush so hard the patient’s mouth started to bleed. While trying to reposition the patient, Knurr also slapped his thigh and warned him not to bite Knurr.

While Knurr was admonished for his behavior, he wasn’t subject to formal action by the board.

He received a license from the Wyoming State Board of Nursing after agreeing in 2011 to monitoring, psychological evaluation and other conditions because of the Colorado incident.

According to that agreement, Knurr “was the subject of various communications from mental health counselors indicating that he was progressing in positive directions, including fitness to practice.”


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