Rhode Island's Board of Nursing publicly acknowledges that federal law enforcement officials have contacted the Board to identify nurses who may be holding fraudulent credentials from several now-closed Florida nursing schools involved in the Operation Nightingale alleged fraud scheme.
If you are a nurse licensed and practicing in Rhode Island under suspect credentials from the involved Florida nursing schools, retain the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team for your skilled and experienced license board defense. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for premier help fighting your Rhode Island nursing license issues.
Operation Nightingale Nursing Credential Fraud Allegations
As Rhode Island's public acknowledgment reflects, state nurse licensing boards are working with FBI agents on the federal HHS's Operation Nightingale. Operation Nightingale is a coordinated federal/state enforcement action investigating the massive Florida nursing school fraud scheme that led to the criminal fraud charges filed in a Florida federal court. The Operation Nightingale charges allege the criminal sale of thousands of fake nursing degrees and transcripts from these Florida schools:
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach;
- Sacred Heart International Institute;
- Siena College;
- Palm Beach School of Nursing;
- Quisqueya School of Nursing, also called Sunshine Academy; and
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy.
Nationwide Nursing School Fraud Scheme Impacts
National nursing journals and media stories highlight the fraud scandal's nationwide impact for thousands of nurses with suspect credentials and their state licensing boards and employers. Operation Nightingale alleges that the bogus credentials won state nursing licenses and nursing jobs at hospitals and other healthcare providers for nurses around the country. Those nurses allegedly paid up to $15,000 for their fake degrees and transcripts. Some nurses also allegedly gained admission to other nursing schools using their fake transcripts, where they earned other nursing degrees. The scandal puts those nurses and other nurses with genuine credentials from the Florida schools at risk of losing their licenses, jobs, and degrees. Employers worry about losing more nurses in the face of unprecedented staff shortages.
Rhode Island Nursing Board Investigations
The public acknowledgment of Rhode Island's Board of Nursing that it is cooperating with federal law enforcement to identify nurses with the fraudulent credentials puts Rhode Island in line with other state nursing boards across the nation. Other state nursing boards have acknowledged not just license investigations but also license revocations for nurses with the fake credentials. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is at the same time urging that state boards throw their strongest support behind Operation Nightingale, increasing the pressure to revoke suspect licenses. Expect state license disciplinary proceedings if you are a Rhode Island nurse holding suspect credentials from one of the closed Florida nursing schools.
Rhode Island Board of Nursing Investigation Authority
Rhode Island licensing officials have clear authority to discipline nurses with fraudulent credentials. Rhode Island's Nurse Practice Act authorizes the Rhode Island Board of Registration and Nursing Education to adopt rules and regulations for the licensure of nursing practice in Rhode Island. The Act's Section 5-34-2 makes it unlawful to practice nursing in Rhode Island without a license. Section 5-34-7(6) authorizes the Board of Registration to revoke the license of a nurse not meeting the state's nursing standards. Section 5-34-10 requires license applicants to show that they have “successfully completed the prescribed curriculum in an approved basic professional nursing education program and holds a diploma from the program.” Section 5-34-24(1) expressly authorizes the Board to revoke the degree of a nurse “[g]uilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing.”
Rhode Island Nurse Employer Investigations
Rhode Island healthcare employers would undoubtedly join healthcare employers nationwide in terminating the employment of nurses holding fraudulent credentials from one of the closed Florida nursing schools. Employers of nurses in other states have been notifying their nurses involved in the scandal to prove the credibility of their suspect credentials or lose their jobs.
Nurse License Defense in Rhode Island
If you hold suspect credentials from one of the closed Florida nursing schools, you need skilled and experienced representation. The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento have helped hundreds of professionals nationwide successfully overcome their professional licensing issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for qualified help fighting your Rhode Island nursing license issues.