RN impersonator gets prison time, fine

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Holly Marie Whyde (Photo: Columbus [IN] Police Department)
Holly Marie Whyde (Photo: Columbus [IN] Police Department)

An Indiana woman accused of impersonating a registered nurse while working in assisted living communities was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $500 fine and other court fees.

Holly Marie Whyde, 45, who pleaded guilty to making false statements related to healthcare matters and aggravated identify theft, also was sentenced to two years in a supervised release program. Terms of her probation include continued psychiatric care and medication adherence, according to court records.

Columbus, IN, police arrested Whyde Feb. 18 after a two-month investigation following a tip to a police detective in December, according to the police department's Facebook page. The detective determined that Whyde had used the professional identity of someone else to become employed as an RN at several Indiana healthcare businesses — assisted living communities and home healthcare businesses — over the course of four years, police said. She had worked primarily in an administrative role but had provided some resident care, they added. Whyde also had worked as a licensed practical nurse, according to the police department, but law enforcement could not confirm that she had been licensed to do so.

The FBI, the Indiana Attorney General's Office and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assisted with the case.

WISHTV.com reports that Indiana's licensing agency is considering changing the process by which nurses renew their licenses after at least three women there have been charged with identity theft or fraud after using someone else's license number to try to obtain a nursing job. Only five states, including Indiana, mandate that nurses use their license numbers, which are public record, and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers to renew their licenses online, according to the media outlet.

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