May 1, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
CONVICTED OF PRACTICING NURSING
WITHOUT A LICENSE AT TWO BALTIMORE HOSPITALS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Florence Ngwe
Igwacho, 40, a resident of Bowie, Maryland, plead guilty in Baltimore
City Circuit Court before the Honorable Lynn K. Stewart to two charges
of Practicing Registered Nursing without a License, arising from
her work at the VA Maryland Health Care System and Mercy Medical
Center. Igwacho also plead guilty to Identity Fraud. Judge Stewart
scheduled sentencing in the case for June 27, 2003.
charges and convictions follow an investigation by the Maryland
Board of Nursing, conducted with the assistance of the two city
hospitals. The investigation revealed that Ms. Igwacho received
registered nursing assignments in Baltimore through nursing staff
agencies by assuming the identity of an actual registered nurse
practicing in Washington, D.C. and licensed in Maryland. She assumed
the name and birth date of registered nurse Karen Awah and presented
the agencies with Ms. Awahs Social Security Number, resident
alien card, and a copy of her Maryland RN nursing license. The imposter
also lied about having an RN degree from George Mason University.
Igwacho has a LPN license only, issued in the District of Columbia.
Relying on the credentials presented, the staffing agencies
obtained nursing positions for the imposter at the city hospitals.
Igwacho worked a number of night shifts at the VA Hospital and at
Mercy before she was discovered. On August 1, 2002, an RN from Mercy
was doing drill duty at Walter Reed Army Hospital as an Army Reserve
Lieutenant. There she met the actual Karen Awah and both realized
the nurse at Mercy was an imposter. Very soon after, Igwacho was
expelled from the hospitals and terminated by the staffing agencies.
case was prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the
Attorney Generals Office.