18 Mar 2016
A South Australian woman who had falsely claimed to be a registered nurse was jailed today for four years with a non-parole period of 14 months.
Following a joint investigation by Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and South Australian Police (SAPOL), the Commonwealth Department of Human Services (DHS), New South Wales Police and the South Australian Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner, Jennifer Anne Reed pled guilty to seven counts of deception for falsely claiming to be a registered nurse. This included gaining employment at six different aged care facilities across South Australia and New South Wales. During this time, Ms Reed dishonestly received more than $340,000 in wages.
The offences were committed over a five year period from 2009 to 2014 in towns in South Australia including Gawler, Semaphore and Moonta, as well as Deniliquin in New South Wales.
AHPRA was first alerted about Ms Reed following a notification about her care of an elderly patient at an aged care facility. The following investigation, conducted by AHPRA, resulted in the discovery of long term dishonest conduct including identity theft and the production of false documents. This evidence was provided to SAPOL, leading to subsequent charges being filed against Ms Reed.
‘It is unacceptable in any instance for someone to impersonate or act falsely as a nurse or midwife. The Board takes such matters extremely seriously and the sentence that Ms Reed received demonstrates the repercussions for such an action’, said Dr Lynette Cusack, Chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
Claiming to be a registered health practitioner when not registered and claiming that another person is a registered health practitioner when they are not, are both offences under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.
The current registration status of all of Australia’s 637,000 registered health practitioners is published on the register of practitioners. If a person’s name does not appear on the register, they are not registered to practise in a regulated health profession in Australia.
Anyone with concerns about the registration status of someone working as a registered health practitioner should contact AHPRA immediately.
Download a PDF of this Media release - Fake nurse jailed for four years - 18 March 2016 (121 KB,PDF)