Practicing without a license


We recently had a situation at work where a scrub tech led staff to believe she had just graduated with her BSN. She was to be hired as a graduate nurse. She was still under the job title of ST, but had oriented a few days as a circulator. When pressed for her credentials, the truth came out that she had lied about the whole thing for over 3 years. She was in nursing school, but was only half way done. However, management has told us that they are not reporting this to the board of nursing since, after reviewing charts, she did not do anything that is a strictly RN role. She had inserted foleys, prepped, and counted. According to management, the only thing that only an RN can do in surgery is medication management. Since she did not sign the med sheet, she did not practice without a license. Does anyone else agree that this doesn't seem right? By that logic, the only role of the RN in the OR is med management. I kind of feel like my hard work to get my BSN was not worth it since a tech with half the training can do virtually everything I can in the OR. A floor RN has many more responsibilities than a tech, but not so in the OR.

Fun2, BSN, RN

5,586 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room.

I believe she should be fired, and a record be known of what happened. Who's to say this person will not branch out, and lie about her credentials at other facilities, in which harm to a "HUMAN BEING' could occur.

(I say this because so many times we deem our 'patient' as just that....a 'patient'. However, we are caring for a human being....A human being with a family, a life, a soul.

I believe the person making the false claims should be held just as liable as the management not making claims on it.

Specializes in Family Practice, Mental Health. Has 32 years experience.

You do not say what state you practice in, but in California, the title "Nurse" is protected. Anyone who holds themselves out to be a nurse without possessing the license is legally in trouble and can be prosecuted.


5 Posts

Specializes in Psyche, Med-surg, Ortho-Neuro. Has 4 years experience.

Wow! That sure shows the integrity of the management. Minimizing clear wrongdoing to save tehmselves the trouble. That kind of *system* of ambivalnce is almost scarier than the imposter; she will only reach a certain number of "human beings," but their influence is multiplied...


320 Posts

Specializes in US Army. Has 14 years experience.

The attempted deception raises a lot of questions about her character. This was not a mistake, it was a deliberate act. I'm sure HR has the documents where she claims she graduated with her BSN... I'm surprised the BON and the school was not notified.


375 Posts

My guess is that management was embarrassed that they never verified her degree, so they avoiding punishing her in order to keep to whole situation as quiet as possible.


13 Posts

Wow! That is so scary! I'd be especially nervous to have my name on the same documents as her if there were ever a court case later on. That would be a great issue for a lawyer to blow up! This person shouldn't even be given the chance to finish her schooling. This hospital is obviously trying to keep the issue on the down low to protect their reputation. I'd report the both of them if I had my name on the same paperwork as hers. I'd let the BON decide if an RN's role is "medication management" in the OR. What a shame.


14,633 Posts

My guess is that management was embarrassed that they never verified her degree, so they avoiding punishing her in order to keep to whole situation as quiet as possible.

I agree -- manangement is hoping the whole thing will just fade away.


16 Posts

I would definitely report this to the BON and/or state, she will be big trouble in the future if she is allowed to keep working in a hospital or medical facility. You'll be doing them a favor, shame on your management!

allnurses Guide

ghillbert, MSN, NP

3,796 Posts

Specializes in CTICU. Has 27 years experience.

She must have a problem to try this and think she could get away with it. I would report her for her own good, as well as patients'.


200 Posts

Specializes in 2 years school nurse, 15 in the OR!. Has 19 years experience.

Yes, she should be reported...In Texas she would have had her driver's license picture posted in the BNE's circular that is sent out every 3 months with the words "Imposter Alert" above it...

They do this to try and keep them from going to another employer and pulling the same thing.


38,333 Posts

I knew a surg tech who went around posing as a surgical "nurse" all the time. She would tell doctors this. I also believe the individual should be reported. There is something fundamentally wrong with her character and if let off the hook, there is a good chance that she will be dangerous to work around in other ways. Knowing this about her, I wouldn't want to work with her in the OR, or any other department. There are too many honest people who can't get to square one and this person pulled this at a good job. I can not feel sorry for her.

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