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Sarasota woman charged with working as nurse without license

SARASOTA -- A Sarasota woman has been charged with working as a nurse without a license, according to Sarasota police.

Kristina Marie Balen, 30, was arrested Friday on charges of unlicensed practice of a health care profession and criminal use of personal identification, both third-degree felonies punishable by a $1,000 fine and at least 1 year in prison, police said.

Police began their investigation in late February after Balen's employer, Sarasota Arthritis, discovered that $1,800 in medication had been stolen.

"During the investigation, it was discovered Balen, who was employed as a registered nurse (RN) did not have a valid RN license," police said in a news release.

While working for Sarasota Arthritis, Balen's duties included rooming patients, gathering internal medical information and computer entry. She also administered arthritis medications and flu vaccines and submitted prescriptions electronically, police said.

A Sarasota woman has been charged with working as a nurse without a license, according to Sarasota police.

Other employees told police they were not aware that Balen wasn't a licensed RN, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Balen was released from the Sarasota County jail Friday after posting bonds totaling $3,000.

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