TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - Recently, the College of Nurses of
Ontario has played a key role in the prosecution of several nurse
impostors in the Ontario courts. Nurse impostors (or "illegal
practitioners") claim to be nurses although they do not have the proper
In October, Jacqueline Leslie-Johnston was sentenced in Ontario court to
24-months probation and an $8,000 fine after committing fraud by
presenting forged documents to gain employment. This case follows the
prosecution of Eva Donna Akinyi Okello, a repeat offender, who was
convicted of identity theft and sentenced to eight months in jail in
September, and Steven Roppel, who was fined $40,000 and put on
probation in July.
"Action must be taken to protect the public when unqualified people use
deceit and fraud to gain nursing employment," says Karen McGovern, the
College's Director of Professional Conduct. "The penalties in these
cases show that the courts share our view that impostor nurses put the
public at serious risk."
These impostors could have been stopped had their employers learned they
were not nurses before hiring them. Confirming whether someone is a
nurse is easy. Information about every nurse in Ontario is available on
Find a Nurse, a searchable database on the College's website. Only
people registered with the College can call themselves nurses.
Leslie-Johnston's fraud was revealed when a potential employer checked
Find a Nurse. Although never registered with the College,
Leslie-Johnston was employed as a nurse by two agencies - one for
almost six years — after convincing them she was qualified by producing
forged College registration documents.
To reduce opportunities for fraud, the College has stopped giving nurses
a paper card indicating they paid their annual membership fee; this
information is now available only on Find a Nurse. The College also has
a list of impostors on its website at www.cno.org/illegal-practitioners.
"Taking a few minutes to confirm a job applicant's registration with the
College is better than dealing with the repercussions of a patient
being harmed by an unqualified person," says McGovern.
A person's registration status can be checked on Find a Nurse, the
College's online register of its members, or by calling Customer
Service at 416 928-0900, or toll-free at 1 800 387-5526. Learn more
about what nurses do in Here For You, the College's online public newsletter.
SOURCE College of Nurses of Ontario
For further information:
| Media calls should be directed to: |
| Deborah Jones, |
416 928-0900 or toll-free in Ontario: 1 800 387-5526, ext. 7609