Arkansas nursing license officials have publicly acknowledged that they are among licensing officials nationwide monitoring for suspect credentials from now-closed Florida nursing schools at the center of a massive nationwide fraud scandal.
Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento now if you are an Arkansas nurse holding suspect Florida nursing school credentials. The Lento Law Firm's skilled and experienced license defense team is ready to fight for your Arkansas nursing license and employment. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for help with your Arkansas nursing license issues.
The Massive Nursing School Fraud Scandal
Press reports and nursing journals describe the massive impact of a nationwide nursing school fraud scandal spurred, as federal officials claim, by pandemic nursing shortages. The federal FBI and HHS Operation Nightingale obtained federal criminal fraud charges against dozens of nursing school officials. The charges allege those officials sold fraudulent nursing credentials from these now-closed Florida nursing schools:
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy;
- Siena College;
- Sacred Heart International Institute;
- Palm Beach School of Nursing;
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach; and
- Quisqueya School of Nursing, also known as Sunshine Academy.
Operation Nightingale officials allege that the thousands of nurses who purchased the fraudulent credentials, many of them minority immigrants, won nursing licenses and gained jobs across the country using the fake degrees and transcripts. Officials also claim that many of those nurses also gained admission to other nursing schools and earned other degrees based on the fake credentials.
Nationwide Nursing Board Investigations
Arkansas licensing officials' public acknowledgment joins a chorus of licensing officials nationwide supporting the Operation Nightingale enforcement action. Licensing officials in many other states have also acknowledged their investigation of nurses holding suspect Florida nursing school credentials. Some of those officials are revoking nursing licenses related to the scandal. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing issued a press release confirming strong state licensing board support for Operation Nightingale enforcement. If you are an Arkansas nurse practicing under suspect Florida nursing school credentials, prepare to defend license disciplinary proceedings.
Arkansas Board of Nursing Investigation Authority
Arkansas's Nurse Practice Act authorizes the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to promulgate rules and regulations to discipline Arkansas nurses who practice under fraudulent credentials. The Act's Section 17-87-101 requires nurses to submit and certify evidence that they hold sound and authentic credentials meeting the Board's nursing standards. The Act's Section 17-87-104 makes it a criminal misdemeanor to "[s]ell or fraudulently obtain or furnish any nursing diploma, license, renewal, or record, or aid or abet therein" or to "[p]ractice nursing … under cover of any diploma, license, or record illegally or fraudulently obtained or signed or issued unlawfully or under fraudulent representation." Section 17-87-309 expressly authorizes the Board of Nursing to suspend or revoke the license of any nurse "guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing or is engaged in the practice of nursing without a valid license."
Arkansas Nurse Employer Investigations
Arkansas employers share the same obligation as employers nationwide to protect their patients and the public against unqualified nursing practice by individuals holding fraudulent credentials. Employers nationwide have notified nurses with suspect credentials from the Florida nursing schools to either prove the credibility of those credentials or lose their job. Employers are also referring nurses to state licensing boards for credential investigations.
Professional License Defense Services for Arkansas
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento are available to represent you in your Arkansas professional licensing issues related to the Florida nursing school scandal. The Lento Law Firm's Defense Team has helped hundreds of professionals nationwide successfully navigate licensing and employment issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.