Nurse imposter treated patients at St. Louis hospital for 3 months, feds charge

A 35-year-old woman, posing as a nurse, allegedly treated patients at St. Louis-based St. Alexius Hospital for three months, reports St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are five things to know.

1. In September 2016, Samantha L. Rivera allegedly lied about her career background to apply for a nursing job with ATC Healthcare Services, which staffs healthcare professionals at hospitals and other facilities, according to a May 10 indictment. Ms. Rivera is not licensed as a registered nurse in any state and did not graduate from nursing school, according to the report.

2. The staffing company placed Ms. Rivera at St. Alexius Hospital, where she worked as a nurse in the intensive care unit and psychiatric unit for geriatric patients from November 2016 to February 2017. While posing as a nurse, she assessed patients, performed medical treatments and administered controlled substances, among other tasks, according to the indictment. St. Alexius Hospital did not respond to St. Louis Post-Dispatch's request for comment.

3. The indictment also claims Ms. Rivera in 2015 lied about her experience and credentials to secure an $80,000 teaching job at Brown Mackie College's school of nursing in Albuquerque, N.M.

4. Ms. Rivera was recently caught after applying to a nurse staffing company using a New Mexico nurse's personal information, according to court records. The staffing agency learned New Mexico's Board of Nursing took disciplinary actions against Ms. Rivera, and her case was referred to the New Mexico attorney general in April 2016, according to the report.

5. Ms. Rivera appeared in an Illinois court May 12, facing charges of healthcare fraud and identity theft. She also faces charges of fraud, forgery and identity theft, which were filed in New Mexico April 21. During the hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Bodenhausen told Ms. Rivera lawyers did not know whether New Mexico authorities wanted her held on the charges issued in April, reports St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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