What A Waste? Woman Poses As Nurse, Gives Out Flu Shots And Medication In A Clinic For A Year

A Sarasota woman faces felony charges after she allegedly posed as a nurse at a clinic for more than a year.

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Cops say an impostor nurse's alleged deception was simple: All she had to do was act the part.

A Sarasota woman faces felony charges after she allegedly posed as a nurse at a clinic for more than a year.

Kristina Marie Balen is accused of practicing medicine without a license. Cops say she lied to her employer, Sarasota Arthritis Center, and fooled everyone who worked there into thinking she was a registered nurse, when in fact she had no medical training -- she didn't even have a college degree.

An office manager uncovered Balen's alleged deception in late February, while investigating the theft of $1,800 in medical supplies. Although Balen has not been accused of stealing supplies, the manager discovered that she did not have a valid RN license through the health department, according to WTSP.

But apparently that didn't stop her from administering medication and flu shots, and dispensing medical advice to patients.

"Her goal was she wanted to be a registered nurse, and that when she found out people would believe it, she just went with it," Sarasota Police Department spokesperson Genevieve Judge told WFLA. "It's very scary, it's very bold."

Sarasota police arrested Balen Mar. 6. She faces felony charges of unlicensed practice of a health care profession and criminal use of personal information. Police are now questioning the managers who hired Balen.

WFLA contacted Balen for comment. She told them that the incident was a "mix up with license paperwork," then hung up on a reporter.

RN licenses are public record and can be searched on the state health department website. Oddly, it appears no one at Sarasota Arthritis Center thought to do that before.

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