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Nurse at Reedsburg medical center used fake RN credentials, officials say

REEDSBURG, Wis. - A Wisconsin Dells woman faces several felony charges for allegedly working as a nurse at a Reedsburg hospital using a Milwaukee woman's registered nurse credentials, according to a release.

The Reedsburg Police Department announced Wednesday a criminal complaint was filed against 40-year-old Jennifer L. Browne for felony identity theft for financial gain and four counts of obstructing an officer.

The complaint alleges that Browne used a Milwaukee woman's registered nurse credentials to get a nursing job in Reedsburg.

An investigation found that Browne got a similar job in Wausau using the same false credentials, officials said.

Browne worked at Reedsburg Area Medical Center from May 31 to Aug. 22, according to the release.

Officials at the medical center said after confirming Browne's false credentials, they immediately fired her and referred charges to police.

An investigation has also been initiated in the Wausau area against Browne for similar fraudulent activity, according to the release. Law enforcement and hospital officials in Reedsburg and Wausau are coordinating efforts and sharing information with one another.

Robert Van Meeteren, president/CEO of Reedsburg Area Medical Center, said the hospital has implemented additional precautions and procedures to identify criminal activity earlier, and are working with state health officials and legislators to better protect access to licenses and the verification process for all Wisconsin hospitals.

"Thankfully, our thorough verification process discovered the situation and we took immediate action. Unfortunately, the former employee engaged in a complicated web of deceit to misrepresent her identity and credentials, and manipulated the system to delay the truth catching up with her," Van Meeteren said in the release.

Van Meeteren said patient care was never compromised.

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