The Florida nursing school scandal alleged in the FBI's Operation Nightingale is now unfortunately affecting nurses with legitimate credentials from schools having nothing to do with the scandal. Operation Nightingale's aftershocks are threatening the licenses and employment of nurses nationwide.
Nursing school issues, including allegations like falsifying clinical hours or other academic fraud can occur while attending nursing school. Facing fraudulent credentials charges years later presents an entirely different challenge. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team if your nursing license is now under investigation based on suspect credentials, whether from one of the now-closed Florida schools or from another school simply based on this spreading scandal.
The Scandal's Florida Scope
The U.S. attorneys who filed Operation Nightingale criminal fraud charges in early 2023 focused their allegations on officials from some of the several now-closed Florida nursing schools. Those schools included only Sacred Heart International Institute, Siena College, MedLife Institute West Palm Beach, Palm Beach School of Nursing, and Quisqueya School of Nursing and Health Care Academy.
These Florida nursing schools, all accredited, had been providing legitimate education and authentic credentials to thousands of nurses over the years. But the Operation Nightingale officials supplied a list to state licensing officials of the nurses whom those federal officials alleged bought fake credentials from some officials of the closed Florida schools. Importantly, the federal allegations did not implicate other nursing schools. The scandal should thus have had a narrow effect.
The Scandal's Spreading Effect
Yet federal and state press releases on the scandal have caused licensing officials and employers nationwide to investigate the credentials of nurses not on the FBI list. Many of those nurses now under investigation attended and graduated from the involved Florida nursing schools with legitimate credentials after comprehensive nursing education. Although those nurses were not on the FBI list, they must now fight to prove their credentials' authenticity.
Federal and state press releases on the scandal are even driving licensing officials and employers to investigate nurses who never attended the suspect Florida nursing schools. Licensing officials even seem to have held up license applications for some nurses solely based on suspicions. In short, the scandal seems to have destroyed the trust officials formerly showed nursing schools and nurse applicants.
Country of Origin Suspicions
In an even more disappointing and arguably discriminatory twist, licensing officials are now instructing hospitals and other employers of nurses to scrutinize nurses' credentials based on the nurse's country of origin. The Texas Board of Nursing, for example, now warns nurse employers that a nurse's foreign country of origin is “potentially indicative of fraudulent behavior”:
If the licensee has a country of origin other than the United States, the year the licensee immigrated to the United States may be significant. Some fraudulent transcripts reflect dates of attendance while the licensee was still living in the licensee's country of origin.
Premier Nurse License Defense Services Nationwide
If you currently face or expect to face a nursing license disciplinary proceeding relating to your credentials, or an employer investigation, immediately retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to help fight your professional licensing issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.
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