Mississippi nurse licensing officials have the same responsibility as licensing officials nationwide to investigate nurses holding suspect credentials from now-closed Florida nursing schools involved in a massive fraud scandal.
If you are in nursing practice in Mississippi but earned credentials from one of the suspect Florida nursing schools, you need qualified legal representation and advice. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier License Defense Team to help you defend your nursing credentials against state board and employer investigations, and to overcome your nursing license issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team.
The Florida Nursing School Fraud Scandal's Impact
According to Operation Nightingale federal FBI and HHS officials, the nation's unprecedented nursing shortages spurred a massive Florida nursing school fraud scandal. Nursing journals and popular press report the nationwide impact of the alleged scheme of selling thousands of fake nursing credentials. The U.S. Attorney's Office's federal criminal fraud charges allege that more than two dozen officials from these now-closed Florida nursing schools were responsible for the fraudulent credentials:
- Siena College;
- Sacred Heart International Institute;
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy;
- Quisqueya School of Nursing called Sunshine Academy;
- Palm Beach School of Nursing; and
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach.
The federal Operation Nightingale and criminal charges reach many more than just the defendant school officials. Thousands of nurses buying the fraudulent credentials, many of whom are minority immigrants, reportedly used the credentials nationwide for nursing licenses and jobs, and even for further nursing education. State licensing boards, employers, and nursing schools nationwide are investigating nurse credentials from the closed Florida schools to protect patients, programs, and the public.
Nationwide Nursing Board Investigations
Nurses with credentials from the suspect Florida schools are on the defensive. Licensing officials in many states have publicly acknowledged their nurse disciplinary investigations and nursing license revocations arising out of the Florida nursing school scandal. The national organization that represents state licensing boards and officials issued a press release strongly supporting Operation Nightingale's enforcement actions. If you are a Mississippi nurse with suspect Florida nursing school credentials, prepare to defend state license disciplinary proceedings and employer demands. The now-closed Florida nursing schools had accreditation and provided qualifying education to many nurses before their closure, notwithstanding the scandal.
Mississippi Board of Nursing Investigation Authority
Mississippi's Nursing Practice Law authorizes the Mississippi Board of Nursing to adopt and enforce educational requirements for a license to practice nursing in Mississippi. The Act's Section 73-15-3 requires nurses seeking a Mississippi license "to submit evidence of qualifications to practice" while barring nursing practice without a license. Section 73-15-3's requirements have the express purpose of protecting the public. The Act's Section 73-15-29 expressly grants the Board of Nursing the power to suspend or revoke the license of any nurse who "[h]as committed fraud or deceit in securing or attempting to secure such license." Section 73-15-31 authorizes the Board to pursue disciplinary proceedings against nurses violating these provisions. Section 73-15-31, though, requires protective procedures guaranteeing due process to nurses disputing the charges.
Mississippi Nurse Employer Investigations
Mississippi employers of nurses, including hospitals, clinics, and home health services, have the same obligations to protect patients and the public against nurses practicing under fraudulent credentials. Employers nationwide have been suspending and terminating the employment of nurses who cannot prove their suspect Florida nursing school credentials to be credible. But employers are also offering protective procedures enabling nurses with credible credentials to prove their veracity.
License Defense Services in Mississippi
If you hold a Mississippi nursing license under credentials from one of the now-closed Florida nursing schools, the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you manage your professional licensing issues. The Lento Law Firm's Defense Team helps hundreds of professionals nationwide protect their professional education, license, job, and career. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for defense team representation in Mississippi.