Samantha Rivera, the 36-year-old St. Louis woman who faked her nurse school credentials in order, get employed at the local hospital, was sentenced to eight months of house arrests and five years of probation. Despite flunking her basic skills test, the fake nurse managed to secure a post and even teach a clinical care course.
Fake Nurse Traumatic Past Fueled Her Erratic Behavior
During Rivera’s Wednesday hearing, Henry Autrey, the US District Judge who presided over the tribunal, nervously asked the 36-year-old St. Louis woman if she was thinking straight when she was employed at the hospital’s ICU.
According to the court documents, during her tenure at the St. Louis hospital, the fake nurse not only handled difficult cases but also logged in some teaching hours. In November 2015, the woman was assigned to teaching a Child and Adolescents Care course to 14 nursing students.
However, due to her poor performance, she was reassigned to assist a clinical instructor in teaching a similar course at a St. Louis homeless shelter.
Rivera first applied for a nursing position at the St. Alexius Hospital. According to several staff members, the woman failed the basic skill test and was rejected as a possible candidate for the psychiatric, geriatric care job opportunity.
The woman would return, with an armful of counterfeit documents which proved that she is a certified nurse. However, by the end of 2017, after the fake nurse raked up a pile of complaints, the authorities arrested her and charged Rivera with impersonating medical personnel, putting countless lives at risk.
During the trial, Charles Banks, Rivera’s public defender, declared that the woman was too emotional to speak and, following the judge’s approval, he read an email written by the fake nurse in which she apologized and blamed her traumatic past for her actions.
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