Fake aged care nursing director fined $60,000

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A Victorian man who conned his way into becoming the Director of Nursing in an aged care facility by falsely claiming he was a registered nurse has been fined more than $60,000.

The man was convicted of four counts of claiming or suggesting that he was a registered nurse without being one, one count of unlawfully using the title of “registered nurse” without being registered with the relevant board and one count of unlawfully claiming to be authorised or qualified to practise nursing at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The charges were laid by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, after they investigated allegations the man claimed to be a registered nurse while job-seeking.

He held no qualifications as a nurse and had never been registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

The man pleaded guilty to the charges.

Under new laws that came into effect on July 1, those found to have pretended to be a registered health practitioner now face bigger fines and the prospect of prison time.

The maximum fine was increased from $30,000 to $60,000 per offence for an individual and from $60,000 to $120,000 per offence for a corporate entity.

The amendments also mean offenders face a possible maximum term of three years in jail per offence.

Under the law, which applies to all states and territories apart from Western Australia, anyone who calls themselves any of the protected titles, such as “chiropractor”, “medical practitioner” or “psychologist”, must be registered with the corresponding National Board.