Schools under fire! Fake Degrees Caught!

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  • Specializes in Critical Care/MICU. Has 5 years experience.

delrionurse

81 Posts

Wonder if those who received licenses will continue to work or if the boards will investigate the previous licensees. 

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Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,741 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

Delaware already revoked several licenses, according to the news. I expect that will continue across the affected states as this unfolds. 

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NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

11 Articles; 17,707 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

Fake Nursing Degrees has been discussed at allnurses periodically,

Since March 2022, AN members have discussed that the NY Board of Nursing was not granting nursing license to nurses  who  gradated from certain Florida nursing programs + passed NCLEX taken in NY nor release their NCLEX scores to another board of nursing as programs under BON review. Later, in fall 2022, members told that these programs under investigation.  

Ny BON Nursing School Under Investigation

I've posted a few times in that thread, last about Operation Nightingale conducted by HHS-OIG, the FBI and Justice Department who worked jointly on the operation -- link to federal lawsuit posted there.

Fake Nursing School Scammed Me

AN members have repeatedly advised members re paying for "online nursing degree education" without clinicals along with the need to "teach themselves material",¬† NCLEX pass rates < 25% ¬†all signs of ¬†problematic nursing program; much info provided in how to select quality nursing program.¬†¬† The Feds stating today that 7,600+ persons PAID for a diploma without attending classes ‚Äďthat desperate to get into nursing profession.

Siena College in Broward County, Fla., Palm Beach School of Nursing in Palm BeaÔĽŅÔĽŅch County, Fla. (ADN programs), and Sacred Heart International Institute in Broward County (LPN) program are now CLOSED

Fraudulent Nursing Diploma Scheme Leads to Federal Charges Against 25 Defendants

ABC News has been broadcasting extensively about this situation. Two of the defendents charged are in my area so covered by my local 6ABC News station.  They interviewed Dr. Pamela Zickafoose, the Executive Director of Delaware's Board of Nursing  who confirmed 26 Delaware nurses have licenses annulled amid nursing diploma investigation. They're awaiting response from PA and NJ BON.

In 2021, Tampa Bay Times posted details about a previous school in Florida + Virginia: Owners of Florida nursing schools charged with plotting to sell bogus diplomas

Obtaining a nursing license by paying for a diploma without attending school is HEALTHCARE FRAUD.  These 26 Delaware nurses whose license has been annulled can expect a lawsuit from both state attorney generals office/OIG and possibly from employer.   Feds are investigating to determine if any patient harm occurred by individuals with fraudulent licenses.

Some have posted that once you obtain a license in Florida, you can apply to another BON to get around not getting licensed in NY along that reciprocity automatically granted if license remains active in Florida - NOT TRUE, must meet state regulations when residence changes to a new state and individual state license required.  Multi-state compact license requires one to maintain residency in state it was originally obtained; its null upon establishing permanent residency in another state.  I'll write more about this in coming days.

This will be an ongoing story and a hard lesson for 7,600 individuals--potentially wrecking many lives.

luv2

161 Posts

What happened to the days of C's getting you the degrees? Many people want to take the fast and easy way instead of working hard. Everyone has read and has an opinion of how over 76,000 Nursing Degrees were sold in Florida. However, this has raised questions and has turned on my  RED FLAGS. When I was in Nursing School, I submitted and signed clinical hours each semester by the Nurse Educator of the facility with my state picture ID. It was kept on file and shipped to the state when I graduated from college with a degree in Nursing before I was allowed to sit for the NCLEX, and I had to sign an attestation for the state. I even had a mandatory ATI.

Now years later, some "NURSES" feel it is okay to take the shortcut and buy a degree. Where is these people's ethos? How can someone feel comfortable buying a degree and then working daily to care for and save someone's life? They could be caring for your mother, father, sister, grandmother, sibling, partner, and children, to name a few. I am disappointed that these people felt their only way was to buy a degree. There are so many resources to help people study now at days. There is no shortcut in life, ESPECIALLY when being responsible for caring for someone's life. To deter this from occurring in the future, I challenge the federal government to charge every person with fraud. Every student must be held accountable for their actions. The students must lose their privilege ever to practice any medicine again. 

Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele. Has 2 years experience.

I actually know a friend who actually knew two of the conspirators from Florida. They opened a school Harris County and my friend attended the school (no degree was bought) via Ideal Professional and graduated, and is now working on her BSN. (I've heard about the '***' of Ideal and she even said so herself. Tried to get her into a real school but what can I do LOL).She has been super anxious since the news broke out, and was wondering if she could be affected should Ideal get shutdown at some point. 

Moral of the Story: Go to a regular school and eliminate the headache.

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NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

11 Articles; 17,707 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

From National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)

NCSBN Statement on Operation Nightingale 1/26/23

Quote

NCSBN applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services‚ÄĒOffice of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Justice Department for their important work on Operation Nightingale.

The investigation focused on nursing education programs that were allegedly involved in the sale of false and fraudulent nursing education credentials. With public safety and welfare as a top concern, NCSBN and our member nursing regulatory bodies partnered with federal and state authorities, helping to identify and monitor individuals who allegedly provided these
illegitimate transcripts and credentials that could potentially undermine safe patient care.

Nursing regulatory bodies in affected states have been investigating individual cases and are taking appropriate action, in accordance with their state laws and due process, that includes loss of license.

As the world leader in nursing regulatory knowledge, NCSBN is dedicated to protecting the public and will continue to support our member nursing regulatory bodies as they thoroughly investigate each case, taking the necessary actions to ensure public safety and root out the fraud involved in this case. NCSBN is committed to helping our members identify any additional safeguards and solutions that are needed. This situation speaks to the importance of nursing regulation and the collective duty to protect the public.

NCSBN will continue working with all appropriate nursing regulatory bodies, nursing education program providers, accreditation bodies and authorities to detect, investigate and resolve these matters today and into the future

Has 2 years experience.
delrionurse said:

Wonder if those who received licenses will continue to work or if the boards will investigate the previous licensees. 

They are pulling nurses off the floor that went to any school under fire pass or fail everyone is under fire right now 

nursego

13 Posts

Specializes in med-surg,psych, corrections, insurance,.

Wow! I worked my butt off to get my ASN initially and then passed the boards. Then back to get the BSN. I work every day to keep up my knowledge base and skills. I have worked in multiple settings and was worried enough about making mistakes but knew I did the right thing as going to school, doing clinicals, getting precepted and would never in a million years chosen to do what some folks seem to have done. First the ones who sought to gain monies to do this and potentially put patients at risk. Plus the ones who wanted to take the easy but fraudulent way to be able to sit for boards thus basically cheating. I can not fathom the motivation except trying not to do the hard work. Yes! Nursing school is hard and working and going to school will test your stamina but I could not do as they did as I do not want to be a fraud and I am a responsible trustworthy person. I hope all are prosecuted within the full extent of the law. There is a pathway to becoming a nurse because of how important it is for well trained people to be the individual providing care. This can not be tolerated for all our sakes.  

Has 2 years experience.

Not everyone is guilty, there are victims as well. Congratulations to you for being able to get your BSN. I am not looking for pity, I was in fact looking for sound advice for a situation that I got caught up into. I agree intention is everything, so if a person intentionally set out to mislead, then yes but not everyone who falls into a trap does it knowingly, nor that make them guilty or stupid. I'm not a hater nor a sore loser, but just because it did not happen to you this way does not mean it can't another. A good person will always be a good person , but that doesn't mean they'll never be a victim.

nursego

13 Posts

Specializes in med-surg,psych, corrections, insurance,.

Yes sometimes circumstances create victims. I can tell you I was a mother of two disabled children, most of the time I was without a person to co-parent and had two other smaller children. I think if you are caught up in it then you need to own up to it and find a solution through whomever is the party trying to do something since as the board of nursing or a law enforcement one. I have been victimized but more so by people I trusted. I am not perfect but I strive to be a person of high moral character. I was not raised to be otherwise and strive everyday to be at the highest level of honesty and trustworthiness I can be. If you are a victim often those who are looking to investigate these situations will give you some latitude and forgiveness as they are more interested in pursuing the individuals who profited from this. You can in fact testify to what occurred and not be specifically charged with fraud but that is up to the person in charge.  That being said if one is educated on the pathway to get a nursing license then one must also be aware that you have to go to school, take courses, do clinicals, and then take the boards. A simple check of the local board of nursing shows this pathway and which schools are compliant with doing it the right way. Some schools feed on people's desperation and desire to do the easy way and sometimes people overlook the fact that what are doing is not legal and makes them face scrutiny. I am not judging anyone. These are the facts as clarified by this question I remember from my school of nursing which was an associate degree program: Can you take the NCLEX without going to nursing school? You cannot take the NCLEX without going to nursing school. You either have to get an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), or pass a diploma program. A real degree or diploma from a school recognized by the board of nursing.  So when you do not take classes or clinicals you cannot set for the boards to get your RN. If you do the required work-classes, clinicals, when you finish you are a RNA which is an RN applicant and stay that way till you pass the boards. Honestly no hard feelings or judgements and I feel for you but I worked hard for my license and it was a huge challenge and I felt like giving up plenty of times but I kept on keeping on. That's all you can do. You have to be diligent because there are lots of scammers trying to say there is another way. It is sounds too easy then something probably is wrong. If you think it is wrong then find someone who has been the same pathway to learn the truth. The local state board of nursing, the ANA or an established nurse. That's all I can say. 

Has 2 years experience.
nursego said:

Yes sometimes circumstances create victims. I can tell you I was a mother of two disabled children, most of the time I was without a person to co-parent and had two other smaller children. I think if you are caught up in it then you need to own up to it and find a solution through whomever is the party trying to do something since as the board of nursing or a law enforcement one. I have been victimized but more so by people I trusted. I am not perfect but I strive to be a person of high moral character. I was not raised to be otherwise and strive everyday to be at the highest level of honesty and trustworthiness I can be. If you are a victim often those who are looking to investigate these situations will give you some latitude and forgiveness as they are more interested in pursuing the individuals who profited from this. You can in fact testify to what occurred and not be specifically charged with fraud but that is up to the person in charge.  That being said if one is educated on the pathway to get a nursing license then one must also be aware that you have to go to school, take courses, do clinicals, and then take the boards. A simple check of the local board of nursing shows this pathway and which schools are compliant with doing it the right way. Some schools feed on people's desperation and desire to do the easy way and sometimes people overlook the fact that what are doing is not legal and makes them face scrutiny. I am not judging anyone. These are the facts as clarified by this question I remember from my school of nursing which was an associate degree program: Can you take the NCLEX without going to nursing school? You cannot take the NCLEX without going to nursing school. You either have to get an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), or pass a diploma program. A real degree or diploma from a school recognized by the board of nursing.  So when you do not take classes or clinicals you cannot set for the boards to get your RN. If you do the required work-classes, clinicals, when you finish you are a RNA which is an RN applicant and stay that way till you pass the boards. Honestly no hard feelings or judgements and I feel for you but I worked hard for my license and it was a huge challenge and I felt like giving up plenty of times but I kept on keeping on. That's all you can do. You have to be diligent because there are lots of scammers trying to say there is another way. It is sounds too easy then something probably is wrong. If you think it is wrong then find someone who has been the same pathway to learn the truth. The local state board of nursing, the ANA or an established nurse. That's all I can say. 

Thank I am doing just that searching for answers and taking accountability of not doing my due diligence to find out the legitimacy of the school, just know I went to school I attended classes at this place I did clinicals I got my ATT I did not pass on the first try like people who quote on quote went to real schools do all the time and then it blew up in the news I am an LPN of 26 years I still work as a LPN I love being of service to others and I will use this as a learning lesson moving forward thank you so much for your sound advice your kind words I appreciate it