Nurse said she was 'employee of the year' ... she wasn't

By Solbin Kang

Despite her registration being suspended, the nurse continued to seek employment. Photo / Getty Images
Despite her registration being suspended, the nurse continued to seek employment. Photo / Getty Images

An Auckland nurse whose extensive lies unravelled when she was caught embellishing her level of experience and concealing her criminal past has been censured and her registration cancelled.

The case, which involves a female nurse with interim name suppression, was heard before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Wellington today.

She has 21 days to appeal after a formal decision is released.

The hearing heard the nurse - whose lawyer said she acknowledged what she did was wrong - had created a long list of fake references in order to gain employment at three medical organisation over the course of two-and-a-half years.

She was first fired from her job as a nurse after she repeatedly lied.

In one reference letter to her future employer, the nurse stated she helped a man suffering a cardiac arrest on the side of a busy Epsom street.

The letter stated she was "recognised by the organisation" and she received a "special thanks from the man and his family".

In another instance, the woman claimed she was "employee of the year" when applying for a job, after being fired from her previous job for being dishonest.

She had a previous criminal conviction for a crime regarding dishonesty, however she failed to disclose this to her employers, the hearing was told.

The nurse's extensive lies included being pregnant with twins. She later said both her unborn children had died.

She was pregnant, but only one child who was born last year, alive.

Despite her registration being suspended, the nurse actively continued to seek employment.

Professional conduct committee lawyer Matthew McClelland said the nurse had "engaged in a pattern of conduct over a significant period of time which is deliberate, dishonest, and fraudulent on a number of occasions".

"Her conduct is grossly misleading, deceitful and deceptive in the extreme and was carried out with the sole purpose of deriving a benefit or advantage of [the nurse]."

He said she was "blatantly dishonest" and her actions were at the "most serious end of the disciplinary spectrum".

Her actions had "created a series of significant risks to the health and safety to the public".

Mr McClelland said the woman couldn't be trusted and suggested her registration be cancelled, and a censure and fine also imposed. The nurse's lawyer Karen Rose said the woman was unable to work since March last year, and had no income and very little financial support.

The nurse expressed her remorse and shame for her behaviour and apologised for the way she behaved. "She acknowledged what she did was wrong," Ms Rose said.

She was no longer practising as a nurse in New Zealand.

The nurse was also ordered to pay about $12,000 in costs.

- NZ Herald

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