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For Immediate Release
March 19, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

BALTIMORE WOMAN CONVICTED OF PRACTICING NURSING WITHOUT A LICENSE

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a Baltimore woman has pled guilty and been sentenced for practicing nursing without a license in both Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

Robyn Flora Ortiz Harris, 28, formerly of Cedarbarn Way, Baltimore, 21244, pled guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County to practicing registered nursing without a license and misrepresentation that she was authorized to practice registered nursing. The charges arose from the fact that on September 24, 2001, Harris obtained a registered nurse position at a Catonsville pediatric medical office by claiming she had completed nursing school and was licensed in Maryland to practice registered nursing. Harris has no nursing degree and has never been licensed in Maryland or elsewhere to practice nursing.

On the count of practicing registered nursing without a license, Harris was sentenced by the Honorable Susan M. Souder to one year, all but six months suspended, to be served at home. The Court also imposed a $500 fine and put Harris on three years of supervised probation. The Court imposed a one-year consecutive sentence for the misrepresentation count, suspending the entire sentence.

On March 18, Harris pled guilty in the Baltimore City Circuit Court to practicing registered nursing without a license and misrepresenting that she was authorized to practice registered nursing at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore as a "nurse graduate," a RN nursing school graduate who will be licensed in Maryland to practice as a registered nurse within 90 days of hire. The Baltimore City charges followed an investigation proving that Ms. Harris was hired in January 2002 as a registered nurse graduate at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, based upon her representations that she had a May 1999 B.S. in Nursing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and was awaiting the results of her registered nurse licensing examination.

Sinai Hospital discharged Harris when she could not provide proof within 90 days of hire that she had taken and passed the Maryland RN licensing exam. Meanwhile, a criminal investigation revealed that Robyn Harris' educational credentials were fake. She never attended the University of Hawaii and had no nursing degree from any other nursing school. Likewise, Harris lied on her application to sit for the licensing examination and failed the test twice. After she failed, she tried unsuccessfully to convince the Board of Nursing that her failing test results were a mistake.

The Honorable Evelyn Omega Cannon sentenced Robyn Harris to one year in the Division of Correction, suspending all but 90 days, the sentence to commence on March 24, 2003. Judge Cannon also imposed a fine of $500 and waived costs. On the misrepresentation count, the Court imposed a one-year sentence, consecutive to the sentence for practicing RN without a license, and suspended the entire sentence. The Court placed Harris on three years of supervised probation.

These cases were prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Attorney General's Office, with assistance from the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Maryland State Police.

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