Hawaii State Board of Nursing officials publicly acknowledge withholding licenses from at least a dozen nurses allegedly submitting fraudulent credentials from the Florida nursing schools closed in the wake of a massive nationwide fraud scandal.
Hawaii nurses holding credentials from the involved Florida nursing schools need to prepare for State Board of Nursing disciplinary proceedings. They also may need to defend their credentials with their employer. Premier license defense attorney services are available for you in Hawaii from the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for the Lento Law Firm's skilled help fighting your Hawaii nursing license issues related to the Florida nursing school fraud scandal.
Operation Nightingale Leads to Fraud Scandal Charges
The federal Operation Nightingale, conducted by FBI agents and HHS officials, reportedly unveiled a massive nursing credential fraud scheme. The allegations came to light when federal attorneys filed criminal fraud charges in Miami, Florida, against dozens of officials from several Florida nursing schools. The charges allege the secret sale of thousands of fake degrees and transcripts to aspiring nurses, many minority immigrants, who paid as much as $15,000 for the bogus credentials, generating up to $100 million. The allegations involve these Florida nursing schools, each of which has closed in the scandal's wake:
- Palm Beach School of Nursing;
- Sacred Heart International Institute;
- Siena College;
- Quisqueya School of Nursing also called Sunshine Academy;
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy; and
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach.
Operation Nightingale Nationwide Impacts
Popular media and national nursing journals report the fraud scandal's nationwide impact. The scandal is adding to unprecedented nurse shortages coming out of the pandemic. Federal officials claim those shortages spurred the fraud scandal. With so many nursing jobs open, nurses allegedly used the fake credentials to fill those jobs after winning nursing licenses. Federal officials also allege that nurses used the fake credentials to earn nursing degrees from credible schools. The fraud allegations are calling into question the integrity of educational programs and nursing programs nationwide, while jeopardizing nursing licenses, jobs, and degrees.
Hawaii Nursing Board Investigations
Hawaii State Board of Nursing officials' public acknowledgment of withholding licenses of nurses suspected of submitting fake credentials accords with other state board actions. State nursing boards around the nation confirm license investigations and revocations due to the scandal, while the National Council of State Boards of Nursing representing those boards declares its strongest support. If you are a Hawaii nurse with credentials from the suspect Florida nursing schools, prepare for state license disciplinary proceedings.
Hawaii Board of Nursing Investigation Authority
Hawaii's nursing practice laws require state licensure from Hawaii's Board of Nursing to practice nursing in the state. Nurses must meet the Board of Nursing's education and other requirements. The nursing practice laws' Section 457-5 authorizes Hawaii's Board of Nursing to suspend or revoke the license of any nurse violating the Board's education or other requirements. Section 457-12 expressly authorizes the Board of Nursing to withhold or withdraw a nurse's license for “[f]raud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing as a registered nurse or as a licensed practical nurse.” These provisions clearly authorize the Board's investigation of nurses involved in the fraud scandal, although the same nursing laws require the Board to provide protective procedures for nurses who dispute disciplinary charges.
Hawaii Nurse Employer Investigations
Hawaii healthcare employers have their own role in policing the Florida nursing school scandal. Employers nationwide have been terminating the employment of nurses who are unable to prove the credibility of suspect credentials from the Florida nursing schools involved in the scandal. Those schools have previously provided credible education to a large number of nurses, many of whom may now face employment and licensing issues to prove the authenticity of their education.
License Defense Available for Hawaii Nurses
Hawaii nurses can turn to the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for premier advocacy as they fight their professional licensing issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for skilled help in the fight for your Hawaii nursing license, job, and career.