Quebec woman faked being a nurse for 20 years

A woman who worked as a nurse at the Jonquière hospital for 20 years has turned out not to be a nurse at all, according to Quebec's Order of Nurses. 

Woman faked documents, had same name as another nurse in region

The Quebec Order of Nurses is deciding whether to take legal action after a woman faked being a nurse at the Jonquière hospital for 20 years. (CBC)

With no training or certification, a woman who worked as a nurse in Jonquière for 20 years has turned out not to be a nurse at all, according to Quebec's Order of Nurses. 

The order said this week it was looking into the case. The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, worked in several different departments in the hospital, including surgery.

She had been using the licence number of another accredited nurse who has the same name and also works in the region, according to Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, the region's health authority.

The woman used fake documents and another nurse's licence number. (Radio-Canada)

Another employee with the regional health board became suspicious when the woman tried signing up for a training course earlier this spring. The licence number she was using showed a different place of employment than the Jonquière hospital.

The suspicions led to an internal investigation, and soon after, the woman's firing. 

'A skilful woman'

"We're talking about producing fake documents, so the person was able to bypass our verification process," said Joëlle Savard, spokesperson for CIUSSS.

The CIUSSS has reviewed its procedures as a result, Savard said. The system will now flag CIUSSS management if the same nurse licence number is being used by more than one employee.

She said the "very serious … dishonest acts" were committed by "a skilful woman."

Savard said she couldn't say whether there had been any issues or accidents resulting from the woman's work at the hospital, only that "if there were, they were dealt with at the time."

"To our knowledge, there were no major incidents" communicated to the CIUSSS, she said.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann said the regional health authority did the right thing by revising its verification processes. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann said she is satisfied with how the health authority and hospital management dealt with the matter. 

"As soon as the establishment became aware of the situation, it took measures, it revised its hiring process for nurses," McCann said. 

Luc Mathieu, head of the Quebec Nurses Order, said incidents like this are rare.

Mathieu said the woman could be fined, and both the order and CIUSSS are looking into the possibility of taking legal action.

With files from Valeria Cori-Manocchio and Radio-Canada