Maryland Board of Nursing officials have announced their diligent efforts to identify Maryland nurses who hold their licenses under suspect credentials from several now-closed Florida nursing schools alleged to have sold fraudulent nursing school credentials:
"On January 25, 2023, the Federal Bureau of Investigations ("FBI") publicly announced its enforcement actions against a large-scale fraudulent nursing diploma scheme operated by Florida-based nursing education programs. The Maryland Board of Nursing (the "Board") has assisted the FBI throughout its criminal investigation and has been a national leader in conducting board investigations into fraudulent nursing credentials. The Board has been diligently and expeditiously working to identify and investigate any Maryland licensees who attended a fraudulent nursing education program. The Board continues its active investigation into this serious matter and will take any actions necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all Marylanders. Employers who identify licensees who attended a nursing education program named in the FBI announcement should submit the licensee's name, license number and employing agency or organization to [email address redacted]. Thank you for your assistance with this serious matter.
Maryland licensing officials have sent notices to those nurses demanding that they complete an investigation questionnaire or surrender their licenses. Those demands place the involved nurses at immediate risk not only of license loss but also loss of a job and career, and possibly loss of nursing degrees from other schools. Maryland's notices to its involved nurses place everything on the line for those nurses.
If you are a Maryland nurse holding credentials from one of the suspect Florida nursing schools, national professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's License Defense Team are ready to help you respond to the Maryland Board of Nursing and overcome your nursing license issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to retain attorney Lento to represent you before the Maryland Board of Nursing, through Maryland's license discipline process, and in proceedings with your Maryland nursing employer.
Federal Investigation Brings Nursing School Fraud Charges
Criminal fraud charges filed in Miami federal court allege that more than two dozen officials at several now-closed Florida nursing schools sold fraudulent associate's degrees and transcripts to thousands of individuals nationwide, many of whom are minority immigrants. The Operation Nightingale charges allege that those individuals used the credentials for state licensure and nursing jobs at hospitals and clinics, and with other healthcare providers, around the country. The Department of Health & Human Services has been alerting state licensing officials to nurses obtaining suspect credentials from these now-closed Florida nursing schools:
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy;
- Quisqueya School of Nursing called Sunshine Academy;
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach;
- Palm Beach School of Nursing;
- Siena College; and
- Sacred Heart International Institute.
Nationwide State Board of Nursing Investigations
Maryland's Board of Nursing is not alone in demanding that the state's nurses prove their suspect Florida nursing school credentials to be credible or surrender their license. Public reports show that state boards of nursing nationwide are initiating investigations and disciplinary proceedings against nurses with suspect credentials from the involved schools. Some of those investigations have reportedly involved notices to the nurses that they must either prove the credibility of their credentials, surrender their license, or face license revocation. State boards giving nurses a chance to verify their credentials may require detailed documentation. Other investigations remain confidential. Maryland's Board of Nursing is among those licensing bodies following the lead of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in cooperating with Operation Nightingale enforcement actions.
Maryland Board of Nursing Authority
Maryland's Nurse Practice Act clearly authorizes the state's Board of Nursing to undertake its investigation of nurses with suspect Florida nursing school credentials. Maryland's Nurse Practice Act authorizes the Board to establish and enforce educational requirements for nursing licensure. The Act's Section 8-302 requires all applicants to “complete satisfactorily and meet all requirements for a diploma or degree from” an approved nursing education program. Section 8-316(a)(1) authorizes the Board of Nursing to deny, suspend, or revoke the license of a nurse who “[f]raudulently or deceptively obtains or attempts to obtain a license for the applicant or for another.” Fraudulent credentials from one of the suspect Florida nursing schools could violate these provisions, placing the involved nurse's Missouri license at risk.
Responding to Maryland Board Investigation
Surrendering your license to the Maryland Board of Nursing as the Board demands would mean the end of your nursing practice in Maryland and likely nationwide. If instead, you decide to complete the Board's investigative questionnaire, and your answers do not satisfy the Board, then you will face license disciplinary proceedings, once again with everything on the line. You need skilled and experienced license defense attorney help evaluating your options and communicating and advocating with the Board.
Maryland Nurse Employer Investigations
Maryland healthcare employers must recognize and respect Maryland Board of Nursing license actions. If you surrender or lose your Maryland nursing license, you will also likely lose your Maryland nursing employment. Employers nationwide have been suspending and terminating nurses who cannot prove that their credentials from the involved Florida nursing schools are credible. Some employers have also referred their nurses to state licensing officials. You need skilled and experienced license defense attorney help responding to your Maryland employer if you hold suspect Florida nursing school credentials.
Premier Maryland License Defense Services Available
Premier professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Defense Team have successfully represented hundreds of professionals nationwide facing professional licensing issues. If you have received the Maryland Board of Nursing's notice of investigation or expect to do so, call 888.535.3686 or go online now to retain premier Maryland nursing license defense representation relating to the Florida nursing school scandal.