Nurse of the year was no nurse

August 7, 2009 9:03:59 PM PDT
It wasn't enough that 'Nurse Betty' was giving injections and counseling patients at a Connecticut neurologist's office. Police say she actually invented an organization just to give herself a nurse of the year award.

Betty Lichtenstein, 56, is accused of posing as a registered nurse at a neurologist's office in Norwalk.

Her story began to unravel when a patient complained to Connecticut authorities after 'Nurse Betty' gave him an antibiotic injection that was extraordinarily painful.

Her neighbors had no idea.

"I thought she was a nice woman," one said.

But it wasn't enough for Betty to fake being a nurse. She had to be the best nurse.

That's why last fall, police say, she printed invitations on fake letterhead from the Connecticut Nursing Association saying she was being named nurse of the year.

She mailed the invites to her colleagues and even had her boss, Dr. Gerald Weiss, speak at the banquet in her honor.

When it was over, police say Betty picked up the tab -- more than two thousand dollars. A small price to pay to know that her co-workers believed she was nurse of the year, investigators said. And she wasn't even a nurse.

Lichtenstein was arrested by Norwalk police in May on an unrelated charge of trying to illegally obtain prescription drugs and forgery. According to the warrant, she tried to obtain 96 Oxycodone pills with a forged prescription. She used a prescription slip from her employer.


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