Some nurses licensed in Florida are receiving notices from the Florida Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance, Bureau of Enforcement, on behalf of the Florida Board of Nursing. Those notices allege that the recipient's nursing school credentials are fraudulent. The notices demand that the nurse either voluntarily relinquish the license, and thus lose their nursing employment and career, or contact the Department prepared to prove the authenticity of their school credentials.
These Florida Department of Health enforcement demands are in connection with the FBI's Operation Nightingale investigation of six Florida nursing schools alleged to have sold fake credentials. Thousands of nurses nationwide are facing potential loss of their licenses, even though many may have earned their credentials legitimately from these accredited nursing schools.
Hire national professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's License Defense Team if you are a nurse licensed and practicing in Florida, with a credential from one of the Florida nursing schools involved in the Operation Nightingale fraud scandal. Don't let the fraud scandal ruin your nursing career. Address your nursing license and employment issues with skilled and experienced attorney representation. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now if you have received the state's license inquiry and demand or expect to do so.
Nursing Schools Fraud Charges
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida filed criminal fraud charges against officials from several of the following Florida nursing schools, alleging their sale of fake degrees and transcripts to thousands of aspiring nurses:
● Palm Beach School of Nursing;
● MedLife Institute West Palm Beach;
● Sacred Heart International Institute;
● Quisqueya Health Care Academy;
● Quisqueya School of Nursing also known as Sunshine Academy; and
● Sienna College.
Many of those nursing candidates were immigrants. Some used the suspect credentials to gain admission to other Florida nursing schools or programs elsewhere. Many used the suspect credentials to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam, qualifying them for a Florida nursing license. Many nurses holding credentials from the suspect schools practice nursing in Florida. Those Florida nursing degrees, licenses, and jobs are now at risk because of the fraud scandal.
Florida Board of Nursing Investigations
You should anticipate a Florida Board of Nursing notice of investigation if your credentials for licensure included education at one of the suspect Florida nursing schools and investigators believe you are among the involved nurses receiving fraudulent credentials. The Florida state agency working with the Florida Board of Nursing is sending notices to Florida-licensed nurses with credentials from the involved schools stating:
Information received from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleges subject received a fraudulent diploma and transcripts from [Name of Involved Florida Nursing School].
The information received is based on investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which lists students who did not complete the required education program hours or clinical training necessary to obtain either a practical nursing diploma and transcript or a nursing associate in science degree and transcript.
Florida's Nurse Practice Act authorizes the Florida Board of Nursing both to issue nursing licenses to qualified applicants and to suspend or revoke those licenses. The Florida Nurse Practice Act's Section 464.018(1)(a) specifically authorizes the Board to pursue disciplinary action against a nurse for “[p]rocuring, attempting to procure, or renewing a license to practice nursing … by knowing misrepresentations, or through an error of the department or the board.” Disciplinary proceedings based on fraud, mistakes relating to the candidate's credentials, or other grounds generally begin with notice to the candidate of the investigation.
Florida Nursing Employer Responses
Your Florida nursing employer may also investigate and suspend or terminate your employment if you have credentials from one of the suspect Florida nursing schools. Employers in Florida and elsewhere are taking a variety of approaches to these cases. Some employers are immediately suspending or even terminating nurses with suspect credentials from the involved Florida schools. Other employers have demanded that the nurses submit proof of their specific coursework, clinical hours, and other education at the suspect schools. A few employers are even notifying state licensing officials to take action.
Retain Premier License Defense Representation
If you receive one of the Florida Department of Health notices threatening your nursing license, you need qualified defense attorney representation. National professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is available for your Florida representation before the state nursing board, school officials, or employer representatives. Let attorney Lento help you, like he has helped hundreds of professionals nationwide resolve nursing license and other professional issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.