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Fake 'Nurse of the Year' Posed as RN, Threw Her Own Award Party

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By Jason Beahm on December 30, 2010 5:56 AM

Are you craving some recognition, but you can't find anyone to give it to you? If so, you could: go back to school, work your tail off, climb up the ladder, obtain success and receive well deserved recognition for your hard work and achievement.

Or you could just pose as a nurse and throw a phony award party honoring your own greatness.

This being Legally Weird, of course our subject opted for the latter. Betty Lichtenstein, 57, of Connecticut, planned a dinner honoring herself as "Nurse of the Year." Naturally she wasn't a nurse at all, let alone the "Nurse of the Year." However in order to get hired as a nurse, Lichtenstein cited an award she had received from the "Connecticut Nursing Association," NBCConnecticut.com reports. Of course, the association doesn't exist, and Lichtenstein had paid to hold the award dinner with her own funds.

Her previous employer, Dr. Gerald Weiss, complained to the Connecticut Department of Health that Lichtenstein had committed unprofessional acts. This led to an investigation that determined she was never licensed as a nurse. Lichtenstein will now spend 9 cozy months in prison for practicing nursing without a license.

Does that seem excessive? It's not like Lichtenstein just changed a few bed pans and handed out pills. She was injecting patients with medicine, writing prescriptions and giving medical advice. And for good measure, she wrote herself a few narcotics prescriptions. After all, why become a nurse or doctor if you can't do that.

The unauthorized practice of medicine occurs when someone without a license claims to be a licensed nurse or doctor, when in fact they do not have a license to practice medicine.

As Lichtenstein is now all too aware, the penalties are serious, no matter how great you think you actually are.

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