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Person online faking being a nurse - what would you do?

Nurses   (8,216 Views 27 Comments)
by pebbles pebbles, BSN, RN (Member)

pebbles has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

7,675 Profile Views; 490 Posts

There is a person I "met" in several online nursing communities. We became online friends. As time went on, the things she said seemed less and less true and very inconsistent. I began to realise that she was a liar and a faker, and had lied about many aspects of what she told me. She posted fake pictures, lied about her lifestyle, her boyfriends, car, etc. She even lied about her dad dying.

It's awful.

But. She was also lying about being an RN, and she continues to lie about that fact even after being confronted. She is actually a DESK CLERK. Most of the other lies she has dropped or at least makes things seem less glamorous than before.

She gave medical advice to people in an online community while claiming to be an RN - my own board of nursing says that giving advice online does still count as practising nursing.

She is not doing that any more. She is just telling people in her online journal and in communities that she is a nurse and playing up the martyrdom aspect of things. "I work such long hours, and people are so nasty to nurses, they have no idea how hard I worked to get where I am...." type stuff.

She has claimed to be a CCRN, to be an RN in the ER, the ICU, Oncology, public health clinic settings, and now says she is going to apply for a pediatric nursing position.

The board of nursing does not have her listed as having a license. I also found out from someone who works at her hospital that she is actually a desk clerk in the ER.

This is all happening on the site livejournal. The administrators don't care, and they say it would be a matter for the police and courts.

The board of nursing in her state has been notified. She has been confronted about her lies numerous times and has not stopped.

So. She is no longer "practising nursing without a license" as she stopped giving advice. But she is still online falsely claiming to be an RN.

She seems like a very mentally unbalanced woman who needs to make up lies to feel better about herself. Her journals are also filled with over the top drama.

She said she had been fired from one job as an ER nurse both for sleeping with a married co-worker, and then because a co-worker found her online journal and printed it out for the boss. After she was fired, she threatened to sue the hospital. They were so afraid of her suing for wrongful dismissal and having it all become public that they paid her out with $80,000. That kind of over the top. She may well be a clerk who gets fired from jobs or quits and starts new jobs in all these areas.

I'm upset because I was deceived (and she used me to get info about my job to make her lies more realistic!). I'm also upset because she continues to deceive people. And because it's very serious to claim to be an RN when you're not. There is a reason for the RN practice acts and laws that govern who can call themselves a nurse.

Some people say "everyone lies about themselves online". I don't feel that way. I wish there was something I could do to make her stop. I also think she should face some consequences for her actions.

So what do you think should or can be done about this faker?

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pebbles has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

490 Posts; 7,675 Profile Views

The title "Registered Nurse" is a protected one in most states. If you know her real name you can report her to the BON.

That's already been done by one of the other nurses who was duped by her. That was a couple of months ago, and she's still at it. I don't think they were taking any action - she said they were really unprepared and had no processes for actually dealing with someone who falsifies being an RN. That struck me as kind of odd.

I am contemplating contacting her employer, but I don't know if that would be taking things too far.

And yes, I do know her real name.

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6,487 Posts; 21,382 Profile Views

Go ahead and contact the employer, because if she's revealing who it is, she's putting them in a bad light also.

If your state also protects the nurse title, then there has to be some way of handling it. Does your BON have an enforcement division? That might be the place to start.

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pebbles has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

490 Posts; 7,675 Profile Views

Go ahead and contact the employer, because if she's revealing who it is, she's putting them in a bad light also.

If your state also protects the nurse title, then there has to be some way of handling it. Does your BON have an enforcement division? That might be the place to start.

Well, I'm in canada, and she's in connecticut. And because it's all online, makes it really complicated. The CT board of nursing is the one she was reported to, and they don't have an enforcement division as far as I am aware. I am planning on calling them myself tomorrow to find out more.

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P_RN has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89.

6,011 Posts; 33,217 Profile Views

On this other board, is there a trusted moderator who is in CT? If she's revealed her true self to you perhaps she has leaked info to another member as well. Just shows again allnurses is "the best"

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

3,844 Posts; 30,654 Profile Views

You can expose her as a liar to the on-line communities she frequents-other then that there is not much else you can do...Don't let her draw you in any more.It's difficult to prove anything any one says on line.I doubt any agency will try to stop this type of thing.The laws are difficult to enforce on line and I think most of the resources are being aimned at things like child pornography,terrorism and the like....As for her giving advice online all I can say about that is "whoa" to anyone that looks for medical advice from any kind of chat/message board.There are so many reputable sites now to get your info from that there is no need to resort to posers in cyberspace.If her state board of nursing is not taking any action then there is not much else you can do except cut off all communication with her...

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Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

3,270 Posts; 17,173 Profile Views

Well, a motherly Amish woman told me they call it the world wide web for a good reason: it entangles you. I say, don't waste any more time worrying about this poor soul. Her life must be so miserable the only way she can get through is to live in a fantasy world (though, if I was going to livei n a fantasy world I wouldn't be a nurse, I would be some kind of wealthy heiress. That's it. She could say she is heir to an 80 million dollar fortune in Africa but because of circumstances beyond her control she is forced to slave away as a desk clerk.)

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tutored specializes in MICU/SICU.

185 Posts; 4,274 Profile Views

Maybe in the chatroom someone could ask this impostor if they're really a middle-aged male pedophile.....that would make things less fun for her and maybe "she" will quietly disappear. Or, someone else could send her a message that they're with the FBI...my point: since she's messing with everyone else, I think you all should mess with her! Have fun with it, until it's no longer fun for her. (if it is, indeed, a "her").

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CarVsTree has 4 years experience and specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU.

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I'm sorry you were deceived, but I just don't see why you are so concerned with what she is doing. There are many ppl who are not who they portray on the net. The BON knows about it. So, I would just move on.

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226 Posts; 2,877 Profile Views

to me, it seems that you have taken the online "friendship" for more than it's worth. i would leave it alone. trying to "expose" her is pointless, imo. hopefully those asking for advice online are smart enough to follow up with their md or np. i would certainly just drop it.

what are you getting out of exposing an online personality?:idea:

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