Mesick nurse's license suspended

Apr. 3—MESICK — A Mesick nurse who admitted that she had an inappropriate relationship with an inmate at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee has had her nursing license suspended for a minimum of six months.

In an order issued last month, the Michigan Board of Nursing suspended the license of Shawn C. Dahlstrom, 58, after an investigation found that she provided a cell phone and cell phone charger to a male inmate and also exchanged money and amorous text messages and photos with him.

A report issued by the state's Bureau of Professional Licensing found that Dahlstrom, while working at Oaks Correctional in 2022 as a contract RN for Healthcare Staffing Pros, provided a cell phone and charger to an inmate/patient identified only by the initials "K.W."

The report says that the cell phone and charger — both of which are considered contraband inside the prison — were discovered during a strip-search of another inmate. A search of the contents of the cell phone, which belonged to K.W., found a Cash App mobile payment notification bearing Dahlstrom's name and showing that the inmate had sent $275 to her and that she had sent the same amount to him.

Further analysis of the phone revealed 42 incoming and outgoing calls from Dahlstrom's personal phone and 48 text messages and photos that Dahlstrom exchanged with the inmate, according to the report.

In one text message, the report says, Dahlstrom referred to K.W. as "hot" and "sexy" and accused another female staffer of "trying to take over (her) spot" with the inmate. In another text exchange, the inmate wrote "Love u," prompting Dahlstrom to respond, "It is always a pleasure to see you and be close," followed by two kissing emojis.

The report says the inmate also sent Dahlstrom photos of his penis.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Dahlstrom said she felt "like I was a victim of that institution. It was the most toxic environment I've ever worked in."

She claimed that the inmate, who she said was serving a term for murder and sexual assault, threatened her life but said she didn't report him because she didn't trust the prison guards and simply wanted to finish her six-month contract. She said she returned the $275 to the inmate because he was trying to bribe her into remaining silent about him.

"It was ludicrous," she said. "I'm still angry about it. ... It was the worst experience of my life."

The investigation concluded that Dahlstrom, who resigned in September 2022, violated the following prison work rules: conduct unbecoming; giving or receiving gifts or services; and overly familiar or unauthorized contact. She signed a consent order in which she denied having a romantic relationship with the inmate but said she "takes full responsibility for her conduct and acknowledges that she should have exercised better judgment."

Although Dahlstrom can apply for reinstatement of her nursing license in September, she said she has no intention of doing so. She also was fined $500.