Health officials discovered a woman who has posed as a nurse for 20 years. She was never certified to be one, yet she worked at a hospital in Jonquière, Quebec, Canada working in various departments during that time, including the operating room.
The woman, whose name has not been disclosed, was able to get hired and maintain her job by using the nursing license number of a person with the same name. This ploy was uncovered when she signed up for a training course. The authority in charge realized the age on her license number did not match her actual age.
She was suspended while an investigation took place. After a thorough search, the woman was revealed to have no nursing degree. Her dismissal immediately followed.
“Over the years, the documents asked of her were provided—falsified documents,” said Joëlle Savard, spokesperson for the region’s health authority. She explained the records system has been fixed to prevent two people from using the same license number.
Savard could offer no explanation as to how a person with no formal training could have lasted for so long. She speculated since the woman worked as a nurse’s aide, in the beginning, she could have picked up enough necessary skills. Also, any shortcomings from her lack of knowledge and credibility could have gone undetected because she was working with competent people.
As such, Savard claims the officials received no reports of no major mistreatment or accidents because of the fake nurse. “If there were, they were dealt with at the time.”
Union representative Julie Bouchard was surprised by this news. “A few weeks, or a few months, that has happened before. But for such a long time, in our minds it was impossible.”