A Miami Herald press report quotes federal authorities as admitting that their nursing school credentials fraud allegations, in the FBI's Operation Nightingale, focus on the Haitian-American community: “Many of the students who purchased degrees were from South Florida's Haitian-American community, including some with legitimate LPN licenses who wanted to become registered nurses, authorities said.”
Federal and state officials might have good reason to focus a criminal investigation, criminal charges, and nursing license revocations on a certain American community. But the public should also be ready to challenge those officials to answer some hard questions when those officials admit such a focus. And in holding those officials accountable, the public should also be aware of the impact of those officials' actions on that community.
Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento if you face or anticipate a license proceeding or employer action over your nursing credentials because of your connection with one of the involved nursing schools, or your ethnicity or other similar profile. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.
Operation Nightingale's Haitian-American Focus
Federal authorities were factually correct in acknowledging that many of the students whom their investigation targeted were from South Florida's Haitian-American community. Some, although not nearly all, of the defendant school officials named in the federal criminal cases are Haitian American. Their name, reputation, and standing in their South Florida immigrant communities, and similar communities in New York and elsewhere, may have facilitated their recruitment of Haitian-American nursing students.
Even a quick review of the long list of nurses whose credentials one state board denied, suspended, or revoked over the scandal shows that many bear Haitian or African names. And one state nursing board continues to warn employers to watch for nurses “with a country of origin other than the United States,” when evaluating the authenticity of their educational credentials. The FBI's Operation Nightingale is unquestionably impacting the Haitian-American community disproportionately.
Due Concerns over the Haitian-American Focus
The public should be concerned over the federal and state authorities' Haitian-American focus. The involved Florida nursing schools, all now closed, were generally access programs. Access means that the schools offered flexible schedules with substantial online instruction. Access is a huge issue in education. Many students, especially immigrant and minority students from underprivileged populations, cannot afford or qualify for nursing education at large, traditional, public and private universities.
Federal and state officials know that access programs differ from traditional programs, including that they may serve disproportionately minority populations. Yet federal investigators got the defendant school officials to give up lists of the allegedly involved students, disproportionately Haitian Americans. The defendants were only too glad to give up those lists to reduce their criminal sentences. Federal authorities promptly shared those lists of thousands of immigrant nurses with state licensing officials nationwide, resulting in a veritable disaster for the Haitian-American community.
Retain Premier License Defense
If you are a nurse with a similar profile, or you otherwise face or expect to face license or employment challenges to your nursing credentials, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to assist you. Prepare now to defend your nursing credentials. Don't become another victim of a questionable federal enforcement action. Call 888.535.3686 or go online before it's too late.