A public report indicates that Massachusetts nurses are among those nurses nationwide facing state licensing investigation in the Florida nursing schools scandal alleging the sale of thousands of fake nursing degrees and fraudulent transcripts.
The Massachusetts Bureau of Professions, Office of Public Protection is issuing notices of complaint and demands that nurses with suspect credentials from the Florida schools respond with voluminous documentation of the credibility of those credentials. The notices give the nurses just twenty-one days to respond. The notices further invite the accused nurse to share the name of the attorney advisor the nurse has retained.
Your best move, if you are a Massachusetts nurse with credentials from one of the involved Florida nursing schools, is to retain national professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's License Defense Team. You need skilled and experienced license defense representation for your nursing license issues relating to the Florida nursing school scandal. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to consult and retain attorney Lento.
Florida Nursing School Fraud Charges
Federal criminal fraud charges filed in Miami, Florida, allege that more than two dozen Florida nursing school officials sold thousands of fraudulent degrees and transcripts to aspiring nurses, including many minority immigrants. Many of those individuals may have used their credentials to qualify for the national nursing license exam and obtain state licenses. Operation Nightingale, led by the federal Department of Health & Human Services, identifies these now-closed Florida nursing schools in the alleged fraud scheme:
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach;
- Palm Beach School of Nursing;
- Siena College;
- Sacred Heart International Institute;
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy; and
- Quisqueya School of Nursing, also known as Sunshine Academy.
Massachusetts Licensing Board Investigations
Massachusetts nurse licensing officials have publicly acknowledged that some nurses in the state may have received suspect credentials from the closed Florida nursing schools. Those officials also admit that they are conducting confidential investigations of those involved Massachusetts nurses.
As indicated above, the Massachusetts notices demand detailed documentation of the nurses' Florida school education. The notices acknowledge the difficulty of obtaining that documentation but still give only limited time, twenty-one days from the notice. The notices also invite attorney advisor representation.
Massachusetts is certainly not the only state pursuing this concern. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing says that licensing boards nationwide are also cooperating with Operation Nightingale to investigate involved nurses, with an eye toward license revocation for nurses with fraudulent credentials.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing Laws
Massachusetts officials have authority to make their notices and demands. Massachusetts' Nurse Practice Act authorizes the state's Board of Registration in Nursing to establish licensing standards and to investigate and revoke the license of nurses violating those standards. Section 80B of those Massachusetts state nursing laws requires nurses applying for a license to “furnish to the board documentation that they have received” nursing education “approved by a national accrediting body acceptable to the board.” The state's professional licensing laws and rules further authorize disciplinary proceedings against nurses and other professionals who misrepresent their credentials. State regulators have revoked nursing licenses in the past over fraudulent nursing school credentials and may do so again in the current scandal.
Employer Notices in the Fraud Scandal
Massachusetts hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare employers share the state board's responsibility and concern over the Florida nursing school scandal. Employers nationwide have been warning their nurses with credentials from the suspect schools that their employment may terminate unless they prove their credentials to be credible. Employers are also notifying state licensing officials of nurses in their employ who hold suspect credentials.
Premier Massachusetts License Defense Available
Massachusetts state licensing investigation may initiate a disciplinary proceeding against you if you have credentials from a suspect Florida nursing school. So may your Massachusetts employer. But you should have protective procedures to invoke to fight your professional license issues. Premier professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Defense Team are available to help you fight for your Massachusetts nursing license and practice. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for skilled and experienced Massachusetts nursing license defense services.