Scam Schools And Diploma Mills

Online education has exploded in popularity over the past fifteen years. Unfortunately, scam schools and diploma mills have also boosted their numbers during this same time period. The intended purpose of this article is to discuss the warning signs associated with fraudulent schools. Students General Students Article


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nguyency77, CNA

527 Posts

These schools really bother me for two reasons:

1. They prey on the students that want to get into nursing but don't have the academics. The students should know better but they are blinded.

Me, too.

Some of these schools in my area prey on people who dropped out of high school or couldn't handle community college. They offer a very attractive "easy way" into nursing or dental assisting programs--no GED or HS diploma, no minimum GPA required--and claim that healthcare is a high-demand field with job security.

My mom does nails and she has plenty of ditzy young clients with questionable intelligence who want to get into nursing. I looked into these schools as a backup plan, in case I didn't get into a BSN program.

I noticed that one particular school offers "Nursing I" and "Nursing Clinical I" before offering biology or A&P of any sort. This is likely to keep the interest of new students, because who cares about pre-reqs? These schools know that people hate having to take "useless" classes...

"I just want to skip through pre-reqs and get to the nursing already!" I paraphrase, from a different thread...


71 Posts

I attend a for profit it expensive-YES. However, my school will become NLNAC accredited in January 2013 and the pass rate for NCLEX is in the 90% range. To me this is all that matters.

If the school is accredited, I will be able to further my education. I called several colleges and they stated "as long as the school is NLNAC accrediated, we will accept the credits."

With that being said, a lot of schools have no intention of becoming NLNAC accredited and people attend these schools because they are told "we are in the process." I don't believe people understand the importance of this accrediation.If the school is not listed on the website under candidacy-the school has no intention of trying.

I live in Florida and diploma mills are EVERYWHERE-one school that I looked at (which will remain nameless because a lot of people on this forum attend this school) bold faced lied to me and said "oh we are in the process." I came home called NLNAC and the rep. told me "no this school hasn't applied for candidacy." So I called the school back and asked when they applied-well the woman seemed to understand that I have done my homework...she actually told me she"had an emergency" and hung up on me. The school charges 60k for a two year degree.

Everyone has to make desicions based on their circumstance-however, attend a school that is NLNAC accredited so you aren't stuck with a degree that isn't worth anything.

BTW if my school doesn't receive the accrediation? I will quit and enroll in an LPN program.

I bet you mean chamberlain????


4 Posts

I think the people that are saying that University of Phoenix isn't a "good" school probably haven't done their research. They do offer ground classes and have a good FNP program that quite a few nurses I work with are going through. Just because it is a for-profit school doesn't mean that the program is awful.

Specializes in Aesthetics, Med/Surg, Outpatient.
This is an informative article but some of us still aren't sure if a school is legit or not. I would appreciate some guidance on this.

I am looking at a school in Delaware that is accredited by the Delaware Board of Nursing (which I verified on the State of Delaware's website) and has a Better Business Bureau rating of "A". It is not a typical university or college but rather a trade school. They only train LPNs. The full-time program is one year in length while the part-time program is only a few months more.

The school is extremely small and shares their "campus" with other businesses such as an employment agency and the Justice of the Peace! I visited the school and had an interview with one of the teachers who took notes on everything I said. At the end of the interview she said I was accepted. She is an actual teacher there and was doing the interview on her lunch break. Some of the students talked with her so I know she teaches there and isn't just wearing a lab coat. I had a brief look at the classrooms which were nothing special but what would I expect for a place that shares the building with others?

They have a clinical lab area with everything that probably should be there for doing labs. The problem is, I am still not sure if they are a diploma mill or a scam school! Since they are a trade school and not a university I will not earn any degree but a diploma. I also live in an area where there are still some diploma nursing schools. Also, the school is overseen by a business I guess. The school is Leads School of Technology and their parent company is Leads Network, Inc. I can't find any information on the parent company and from what I found out on the school is not helpful. They have only been in business and accredited since 2007. From here, I am not sure what to do. The tuition sounds fairly reasonable I think: $16,002.00. This includes books, clinical uniform, fees for lab, fee for NCLEX prep course and other things that make sense. Their website ends with an "" and the site seems to be very well written. However, the teachers are not listed, just some of the staff. They have a working phone number of course. :)

Also, the tuition they ask can be paid in installments but they do not accept credit cards or personal checks. This was a red flag when I spoke with my dad about it. Although I got advice from someone else about the school, I'd like to know what other people think and if there is any other way if I can find out if they are a scam school or diploma mill. I think my next step is to call other nursing programs in the area and ask if they will accept my impending credits from this school if I decide to attend an RN program a bit later on. What do you guys think? What else can I watch out for? I have not paid any money at this point, not even for the application fee. I did submit all necessary paperwork and got my criminal background check, drug test, physical, and immunizations done.

Pm me the name of the school. Was residing there!

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, ER, Peds ER-CPEN.

I feel for people that get sucked into these scam schools, but I do not feel sorry for the MA who felt that since she'd gotten good at diagnosing others aches and pains that a simple test and 1400$ would suddenly make her an MD with the right to see patients and prescribe, if it were that easy major medical schools would fold


2,716 Posts

Specializes in oncology.
On 6/24/2012 at 9:36 AM, Meriwhen said:

the online activity of the student is usually monitored. It may be all of the tests, or the testing would be a mix of unproctored regular tests and a proctored final.

And if they grade on a curve? Comparing your score to someone else's? Why don't they require every exam to be proctored?



2,716 Posts

Specializes in oncology.
On 6/24/2012 at 4:25 PM, TheCommuter said:

the vast majority of LPN programs do not have NLN accreditation because it is simply not that important for schools that offer PN courses.

It is not that it is not important. It is that NLN (ACEN) accreditation looks into the school's finances, the faculty qualifications, the graduation and NCLEX rates, the soundness of the curriculum and if the school will continue to operate, coordination with classroom and clinical experiences, the quality of the clinical experiences for the student and the evaluations submitted by the school's graduates at 6 months and 5 years. 

The accreditation costs $$$ and reveals a lot about shady dealings of the school or affirms the quality of the school. I recommend looking for a quality school that has the ACEN accreditation behind it. 

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