State nursing license officials have shared more information with the media on the FBI's Operation Nightingale nursing credentials scandal. In that sting operation, the FBI obtained criminal charges against more than two dozen officials at several now-closed Florida nursing schools. Those officials gave up the names of 7,600 nurses alleged to have purchased fraudulent credentials to sit for the NCLEX. Thousands of those nurses passed the exam to obtain licenses and work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the U.S. If your state has contacted you in response to this incident, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888.535.3686 today.
Some States Immediately Revoke Nursing Licenses
Media reports now indicate that the FBI shared the list of suspect nurses with state nursing license officials in early November 2022. The scandal broke publicly only in late January 2023 after a U.S. Attorney's Office in Florida announced the criminal charges. But some state nursing officials, like those in Delaware, immediately annulled the licenses of nurses appearing on the FBI's suspect list, way back in November 2022. Delaware revoked twenty-six nursing licenses then and nine more since then.
Other States Delay Action Pending Due Process
The same media report, though, indicates that other states were slower to act. Indeed, more than half a year later, some states still have the matters under review. The media report indicates that although it presumably received the same information as Delaware, Pennsylvania took six months to disclose formal disciplinary proceedings against eighteen nurses relating to the credentials scandal. One of those eighteen nurses had already had her license revoked by Delaware months earlier. A Pennsylvania nursing board spokesperson explained that the state must give due process to nurses facing discipline.
New Details of the Alleged Credentials Scheme
The media report shares more details about the nature of the alleged scheme. Undercover special agents allege that they walked into one of the suspect Florida nursing schools to purchase nursing degrees with virtually no questions asked. Agents also allege that the suspect nursing schools backdated degrees to months or even years before the students purchased them. Thousands of the nurses on the FBI's list nonetheless passed the NCLEX. The media report indicates that many of those nurses, Haitian and African immigrants, may have had nursing education and experience before coming to the U.S.
States Share Nursing License Discipline
The media report also confirms that state nursing license officials are sharing nursing license discipline information, just as the FBI and other federal officials have shared information with state officials. State officials can certainly find out what disciplinary proceedings other states have initiated and what discipline other states may have already imposed. But they may also be sharing disciplinary file information and evidence.
Get Qualified Nursing License Defense
Your best move if you attended one of the suspect Florida nursing schools or otherwise face scrutiny of your nursing credentials is to retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional Nursing License Defense Team to defend your nursing credentials. Don't face professional licensing issues alone. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now.