Woman Who Posed as Fake Nurse and Threw “Nurse of the Year” Ceremony for Self Receives Light Sentence

Fake nurse - A Connecticut woman was sentenced for being a fake nurse.Liars and con artists may have existed as long as mankind, but when someone is a ruse in the medical profession, playing games with patient safety must be taken much more seriously.

It’s hard to say exactly what would motivate a woman to pose as a nurse, administer shots, and give medical advice without a nurse’s license. Perhaps it had something to do with the blank prescription forms that she obtained from her unknowing employer (a real doctor) before using them to forge illicit pain-killer prescriptions for herself.

Certainly, the 57-year-old woman, Betty A. Lichtenstein of Danbury, Conn., has her issues. She handed over a bag of 20 medications to her jailers after her sentencing, and before leaving court this week, according to the Connecticut Post.

The Connecticut Dept. of Public Health was alerted to a fake nurse practicing in the state.Apparently, being lubed up on pain meds wasn’t enough to satisfy the nurse in disguise, however. She actually decided to honor herself as “Nurse of the Year” at a party that she planned herself and paid for with $2,000 out of her own pocket. She even conjured up a fake organization called the Connecticut Nursing Association to award her the undeserved merit.

Ironically, the doctor that hired Lichtenstein (Dr. Gerald Weiss of Norwalk) without checking her background was fined $2,000 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Weiss bought into the plot hook, line and sinker apparently, even agreeing to speak at the faux “Nurse of the Year” ceremony on behalf of his faux nurse.

For all of her troubles, Lichtenstein must serve only nine months in prison, followed by three years of probation. She pleaded guilty to one count of practicing nursing without a license, one count of criminal impersonation one count of forgery in the second degree for the forged narcotics prescriptions. Lichtenstein can never work in the medical profession again, and she must inform all potential employees of her convictions.

A fake nurse was practicing in Connecticut but was sentenced this week.Lichtenstein’s penalties could be enough to keep her from obtaining meaningful employment, but that’s not really the point here, I don’t think. Lichtenstein may never have been caught if not for a patient of Dr. Weiss, who complained in March of 2009 that Lichtenstein acted unprofessionally. Inspectors from the chief state’s attorney’s office began looking into Lichtenstein after the complaint was filed with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

This begs a few questions, including:  How many medical professionals are not medical professionals (see a story earlier this month regarding a fake cardiologist who taught classes for 25 years)? And, are the penalties severe enough for those who misrepresent themselves and potentially take the safety of others into their own hands?

Lichtenstein received only 9 months behind bars, her employing doctor received a slap on the wrist for hiring a non-licensed nurse, and the man in the above story served no jail time at all (although he lost both his consulting job and his commercial pilot’s job).

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Generic Viagra, Cialis or Propecia