Fake nurse with long history of imitation worked at Vancouver hospital for a year, police say

A woman with a long history of impersonation in other parts of Canada has been arrested and charged in Vancouver for allegedly posing as a nurse while working at BC Women’s Hospital for a year.

Brigitte Cleroux, 49, has been charged with fraud of more than $5,000 and personification with intent, according to a statement from the Vancouver Police Department.

Researchers say Cleroux used the name of a real nurse to find work at the hospital, where she cared for patients from June 2020 to June 2021.

“We don’t yet know how many people in Vancouver may have been treated by the fraudulent nurse, but we are working with the Provincial Health Service to identify patients who may have had contact with her,” says VPD Const. Tania Visintin said in the statement.

The BC College of Nurses and Midwives confirmed it had issued a warning about Cleroux in June, but that warning listed her name as Melanie Smith or Melanie Cleroux.

According to a recent survey by CBC reporters in Ottawa, Cleroux has a record of 30 years impersonating professionals, including nurses and teachers.

She was charged this summer in Ottawa after pretending to be a nurse at a medical and dental clinic in the nation’s capital. Vancouver officers say they worked closely with the Ottawa Police Department during their investigation.

Cleroux’s charges in the Ottawa case include assault with a weapon and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, allegedly for administering drugs and injections to patients who had no idea she was not certified to do so.

Court records show that although Cleroux once attended nursing school in the US, she never completed it and was never licensed to practice.

Her crimes date back to at least 1991, when she was charged with impersonation and forgery in Quebec at age 19.

Vancouver police say she is currently in custody awaiting her next court appearance.

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