Nurse worked 18 years with no license

Spring Hill woman was arrested Wednesday afternoon, after deputies discovered she'd worked for 18 years as a nurse with no license.

New Port Richey, Florida — For the last 18 years, she'd been training students for medical certifications at Pasco-Hernando Community College. But she never had a nursing license, according to deputies.

Sandra Wilbanks, 59, was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

Since August of 1990, she'd worked at PHCC as a registered nurse as the instructor of technical health programs. When she was hired, deputies say Wilbanks provided forged documents to the human resources department to prove she was a nurse. The documents showed Wilbanks had a valid license to practice nursing in Florida.

State law did not require Wilbanks to be a registered nurse in order to be an instructor at PHCC, but the college did.

"The copy of the license she submitted seemed genuine," said PHCC spokesperson Lucy Miller. "Every several years, registered nurses are required to update their licenses, and she provided us with copies through the years."

But the school did not double-check with the Florida Department of Health until this year.

In May, PHCC requested updated licensing information from Wilbanks as the school was in a credential review process for state accreditation. Wilbanks eventually told the school that she "might have let her licensing expire," according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. She then submitted her letter of retirement.

"I'm shocked, to be honest with you," said Terri Buell, who earned her certification of Phlebotomy under Wilbanks' instruction. They're also neighbors and have been friends for more than a decade.

"She's a wonderful person, inside and out. She was a good teacher."

Deputies say Wilbanks' nurse status was revoked by the North Carolina Board of Nursing in 1974.

During her time at PHCC, Wilbanks worked as a full-time employee, which included all salary and benefits, including enrollment in the Florida Retirement System. In her 18 years at the college, administrators say all reviews were exemplary.

Wilbanks has bonded out of jail and did not respond to Tampa Bay's 10's request for comment. She is charged with forgery and scheming to defraud.

The Florida Department of Health has an online tool that searches for medical licensing information on anyone in the state. All you need is the person's first or last name.

Click here for PHCC's Statement

Click here for Sheriff's Statement
Janie Porter, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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