Washington Nurses Fight the Florida Nursing School Fraud Scandal
Washington State licensing officials have been taking aggressive action against nurses with credentials from the now-closed Florida nursing schools alleged to have sold thousands of fake nursing degrees and fraudulent transcripts.
Washington State's Board of Nursing has published a press release that it is rescinding ten nursing licenses and denying other licenses for allegedly failing to prove the validity of Florida nursing school education.
If you are practicing nursing in Washington State with credentials from one of the closed Florida nursing schools, retain premier professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's License Defense Team for the skill and experience you need to overcome your nursing license issues. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.
Florida Nursing School Fraud Scheme
The federal Department of Health & Human Services' Operation Nightingale has led state licensing officials in Washington and across the country to investigate nurses holding credentials from these suspect Florida nursing schools:
- Sacred Heart International Institute;
- MedLife Institute West Palm Beach;
- Palm Beach School of Nursing;
- Siena College;
- Quisqueya Health Care Academy; and
- Quisqueya School of Nursing, called Sunshine Academy.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed criminal fraud charges in Florida federal court against dozens of officials alleged to have sold thousands of fake degrees and transcripts from the closed Florida nursing schools. The allegations include that more than 7,600 aspiring nurses, many of them African and Haitian immigrants, used the credentials to gain admission to other nursing schools, earn other nursing degrees, sit for the NCLEX licensing exam, and enter nursing practice under state license.
Washington State Licensing Board Investigations
Washington's Board of Nursing cooperates with the state's Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to investigate nurse credentials. A hospital industry report indicates that the Commission has identified 150 licensed nurses or license applicants with credentials from the suspect Florida nursing schools.
The Commission has already denied or rescinded nursing licenses to some of those individuals while continuing to investigate many more licenses. Its press release names those individuals, stating:
In conjunction with an ongoing investigation into the legitimacy of multiple Florida-based nursing schools, the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) has taken action to rescind the registered nursing (RN) license of the following individuals on the basis of failure to prove qualifications for licensure.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing indicates that state licensing boards across the nation are also cooperating with federal Operation Nightingale officials to ensure proper licensing.
Washington State Nurse Licensing Authority
Washington State's Board of Nursing may or may not be correct in its allegations. The affected nurses have procedural rights to respond to the Board's investigations and challenge the Board's actions. but Washington State's Nurse Practice Act authorizes the state's Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to enforce nurse licensing standards, including to suspend and revoke a nursing license improperly issued.
The Nurse Practice Act's purpose is to protect the Washington State public. Section 18.79.120 of the Nurse Practice Act incorporates the state's Uniform Disciplinary Act. Section 18.130.180(2) of the disciplinary act identifies as sanctionable unprofessional conduct any “[m]isrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in obtaining a license or in reinstatement thereof.” This authority empowers the state's Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to initiate action against your Washington State nursing license if your credentials include suspect education from one of the involved Florida nursing schools.
Employer Notices to Involved Nurses
The employers of Washington State nurses caught up in the Florida nursing school fraud scandal share the state commission's concern over nurse qualifications. Employers nationwide are notifying involved nurses of their suspension or termination, or demanding that they prove the credibility of their suspect credentials. Your employer may already be investigating your credentials from the involved Florida nursing schools. If you receive a suspension notice from the Washington State Board of Nursing, your employer will likely suspend or terminate your employment.
Washington State License Defense Attorney Services
Your nursing license, job, education, and career are worth protecting. Get the skilled and experienced license defense attorney services you need in Washington State to fight the Florida nursing school scandal. Premier professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of professionals nationwide overcome licensing issues. Attorney Lento's Professional License Defense Team is available in Washington State for your professional license issues with the state commission, your employer, and your nursing school. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for qualified Washington State nursing license defense services.