A woman spent an entire year working as a nurse at a hospital in Canada and treating patients without anyone finding out that she was not actually a real nurse.

Brigitte Cleroux, 49, posed as a nurse while working at BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Vancouver police said Cleroux had a long history of impersonation. She was arrested and charged for fraudulently working at the hospital between June 2020 and June 2021, Global News reported Thursday.

Cleroux once attended a nursing school in the past, according to court records. However, she never completed the course and did not attain a license to practice. Her criminal records span over three decades during which she impersonated nurses and teachers at different locations.

In 1991, Cleroux was convicted of impersonation and forgery in Quebec at the young age of 19, according to CBC News.

Following her recent stint at the women’s hospital in Vancouver, the BC College of Nurses and Midwives issued a warning in June about a woman named Melanie Smith, Melanie Thompson or Melanie Cleroux fraudulently portraying herself as a registered nurse.

Along with her latest charges for impersonating as a nurse in Vancouver, Cleroux was also charged earlier this year for pretending to be a nurse at a medical and dental clinic in Ottawa.

Danette Thomsen, interim vice-president of the BC Nurses' Union, said the allegations against Cleroux were "absolutely alarming." She said this is the first time she has heard of something this serious happening in the British Columbia province.

"The fact that this can even happen raises questions around the controls from the health employers, and what is in place and is it enough — obviously not — to keep our patients and our staff safe," Thomsen said.

The Provincial Health Services Authority is working with police to identify and contact patients who received treatment from Cleroux while she was pretending to be a nurse in Vancouver.

“Our detectives worked collaboratively with the Ottawa Police Service, which was conducting a parallel investigation into the same suspect,” VPD Const. Tania Visintin said in a statement.

“We don’t yet know how many people in Vancouver may have received treatment from the fraudulent nurse, but we’re working with the Provincial Health Services Authority to identify patients who may have had contact with her,” Visintin added.

The Provincial Health Services Authority also released a written statement about the incident. “We can assure the public that we are reviewing this matter fully to determine how this occurred, any internal processes that may have contributed to it and impact to patients," the health authority said.

Cleroux is now being held in custody and is waiting for her next appearance in court.

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