A Connecticut woman who authorities say spent more than $2,000 to stage a dinner honoring her as "Nurse of the Year" has been charged with pretending to be a nurse at a doctor's office.

Fifty-six-year-old Betty Lichtenstein of Norwalk was charged Thursday.

Prosecutors say Dr. Gerald Weiss believed Lichtenstein was a registered nurse, especially after she was named the Connecticut Nursing Association's "Nurse of the Year" in 2008.

According to the arrest warrant, that association does not exist.

The state's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating after a patient complained about Lichtenstein.

She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of reckless endangerment and criminal impersonation charges.

Lichtenstein did not return a telephone message for comment.