Nursing licenses take immense time, money, and dedication to procure. However, things turn for the worse when state-licensed nurses learn their education was found to have originated from a fraudulent scheme, and they are left to defend their careers. Many wait until it's too late to retain professional help to protect their credentials, but the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team stands prepared to step in and safeguard your right to due process. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.
Operation Nightingale Unveils Fraudulent Nursing Schools
In 2021, the FBI conducted Operation Nightingale, a multi-state coordinated effort to apprehend individuals selling fraudulent nursing degrees, diplomas, and transcripts. Federal investigators found that students were encouraged to apply for medical licenses in Iowa and a few other states that were targeted due to their perceived "lower threshold of scrutiny on applicants." For example, Iowa is one state where applicants may sit for the National Council Licensure Examination an unlimited number of times.
The FBI estimates the nationwide scandal involves at least 7,600 fake diplomas awarded primarily by South Florida-based nursing schools operating fraudulently. Roughly 2,800 individuals who received diplomas passed the nursing board exams, many in Iowa.
Iowa Nurse Linked to Nationwide Scandal Has License Revoked
Mamie Soa Paye is one of the thousands of individuals alleged to have received a degree from unaccredited Florida schools without completing official program hours or clinical training required in schools across the country. In 2019, the Iowa Board of Nursing awarded her a license to practice, but it was only called into question once the nursing school scandal was unveiled.
Paye, who reportedly attended Florida-based Med-Life Institute, said the institution was fully accredited during her 10-month stay—after which she passed the national exam. However, when interviewed by Iowa investigators, Paye failed to name any classmates or instructors at the school.
Following several instances of "poor performance reviews" from medical facilities where she worked, the state board decided to revoke Paye's license in November 2023, finding her "guilty of fraud in procuring a license by falsifying her application, credentials, or other records submitted to the board." She is currently seeking a judicial review of the board's decision.
Licensed Nurses Fight Back Against State Boards
Arguing to reverse the decision, Paye claims the board rendered a guilty determination based on "absolutely no evidence" that she intentionally worked to defraud the board.
Paye contends that she was one of the thousands "preyed upon by the Florida institution and applied for her Iowa nursing license in good faith with the belief her credentials were legitimate." Unfortunately, as her appeal continues, more state-licensed nurses across the country are reeling from the potential loss of their credentials as the scandal unfolds.
How Can the Lento Law Firm Help?
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team understands that thousands of licensed nurses are in a dire situation of losing their livelihoods. We encourage each not to simply give up their credentials and retain a skilled and experienced team of attorneys to invoke your state board hearing rights.
You can gain the assistance you need to help you gather, examine, and present evidence to ensure that you have the best opportunity to preserve your license, job, and career. Call the Lento Law Firm now at 888-535-3686 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.