Scandal in Florida over a fake nursing degree
In a scam, three nursing schools in Florida sold more than 7600 degrees and papers worth millions of dollars. It let people who wanted to be nurses get their licenses without having to go to school. The plan puts the safety of patients at risk, since nursing training is supposed to keep the public safe by setting basic qualifications and consequences.
This blog will tell you about the nursing degree scam, the nurses involved, and the schools that give out fake nursing degrees.
What is the nursing degree scam in Florida?
In the Florida Fake Nursing Degree Scandal, three schools in Florida are accused of selling more than 7600 fake degrees. People who buy fake degrees and transcripts took the national nursing board test and got a license even though they didn’t have the necessary nursing training.
More than 24 people, including school leaders, are accused of taking advantage of this illegal way to get licenses and jobs. The Justice Department and the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) worked together on a plan.
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Buying and selling degrees and transcripts to people who don’t have the qualifications is a crime that puts patients’ health and safety at risk and hurts the reputation of the nursing field. People lose faith in the healthcare system because of this kind of scam.
People were able to get licenses and work as registered nurses and vocational nurses in different states because of the scandal. Schools in Florida that sold fake diplomas were shut down, and the person responsible was sent to jail. The Justice Department and the Inspector General’s Office for Health and Human Services did an investigation called “Operation Nightingale.”
How many nurses have degrees they didn’t get?
Over 7600 people from the US paid an average of $15,000 for fake papers and degrees. About 2400 nurses in several states passed tests to become licensed as practical nurses or registered nurses. The goal of a nursing license is to keep people safe by setting baseline qualifications and skills.
Omar Perez, a special agent, said, “Buying and selling nursing diplomas to willing but unqualified nurses is a crime that puts patients’ safety and health at risk.” The HHS-OIG is still looking into bad people who don’t care about the well-being of others in order to make money for themselves.
People were tempted to get ahead in their jobs by doing illegal things because education costs were going up. They didn’t want to face financial problems and work hard to become nurses. No one knew the names of the nurses, but it was said that South Florida is home to a lot of foreigners.
The fake nurses aren’t being charged, and the state nursing board is looking for their licenses and taking them away. Delaware has taken away 26 licenses and Georgia has taken away 22. In Washington, 77 licenses are being looked at. The regulatory board of the concerned states is looking into the cases and following the law.
Are the 7600 degrees in nursing real?
Yes, more than 7600 people who wanted to be nurses got fake diplomas and transcripts from three Florida nursing schools. Special agent Omar Perez Aybar said that many of the nurses had worked in healthcare as certified nurse aids or in other jobs.
The nurses paid between $10,000 and $15,000 for the fake degrees and transcripts, which let them take the NCLEX test. About a third of the people who wanted to become nurses passed the test, got a license in different states, and then got jobs at health care centers. The story calls for changes to the way that state nursing boards worked for many years and could not find fake licenses.
The nurses with fake credentials work in Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Georgia, among other states. They work in homes for children, hospitals for veterans, and senior living centers.
What are the names of Florida’s three fake nursing schools?
More than 7600 people who wanted to become nurses bought fake diplomas from three nursing schools. This let them skip the training they needed to become registered nurses. Twenty-five people, including high school graduates and school directors, were charged and could get 20 years in jail if they were found guilty.
Three Florida schools sold 7600 degrees that were worth $100 million. Siena College, the Palm Beach School of Nursing, and the Sacred Heart International Institute, all of which are now gone, are involved.
- Siena college in Broward country
The state board of nursing has given Siena College in Broward county permission to offer a bachelor of science in nursing studies and practices. Eugene Sanon, who runs the college, and three others were given the job of finding people who want to become nurses.
According to the criminal complaint, Sanon sold fake diplomas and transcripts in 2016 that said the students had finished the necessary training at the college, but they had not. Siena and others sold credentials to people who wanted to become nurses. Those people used the credentials to get LPN/VN licenses in different states and get jobs.
2. Palm beach school of nursing in palm beach country
Seven nurses got fake degrees from Johanah Napoleon’s schools, the Sunshine Academy, the Florida College of Health, Quisqeya, and the Palm Beach School of Nursing. The fake diplomas were used to get the seven nurses qualified in New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
The nurses got jobs in nursing homes that took Medicaid and Medicare patients. One of them worked at a home run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ten were involved in recruiting people to earn fake degrees. Napoleon made a lot of money selling fake degrees, and he pleaded guilty to health care fraud over the phone.
The goal of Palm Beach School of Nursing was to get students ready to meet the standards of the Nursing Licensing Board so they could take the test to become registered nurses. With the certificates they bought, the applicants looked for nursing jobs all over the country. Napoleon has admitted to cheating the health care system and the wire system.
3. Sacred heart international institute in Broward country
The Florida Board of Nursing has given the Sacred Heart International Institute a license. It is a school in Broward County. The school had a nursing program that taught students what they needed to know to get jobs as practical nurses. The applicants bought fake degrees and used them to get licenses in different states and get jobs as health care workers.
Court documents say that Charles Etienne and two others sold 588 fake diplomas and papers. Etienne owns the sacred heart international school. Gerald Adrien and Woosvelt Predestin, the other two suspects, took online classes for people who had bought them. In the Siena college case, Adrien and Predestin are also named.
How did they learn about the fake degrees?
The HHS-OIG, the FBI, and the Department of Justice worked together on a multistate operation called “Operation Nightingale” to catch people who were allegedly selling nursing diplomas and records. The operation was named for the person who started modern nursing and made the first science-based teaching for nurses.
The search orders were carried out in a number of states, including New York, Texas, Delaware, New Jersey, and Florida. In several states, more than 7600 registered and licensed practical nurses tried to get work with fake diplomas. The diploma showed that the people had finished their nursing training and classes and gotten their licenses. But they didn’t go to the classroom or the lab.
Selling fake nursing degrees and transcripts to people who aren’t qualified is a crime that puts the patient’s life at risk and brings shame to the nursing field. The claimed plan was meant to help a lot of people become nurses quickly. When a Florida audit found that the schools involved in the alleged scheme had low pass rates, it was the first time that fake certificates were found.
What will happen to the fake-degreed nurses?
Many nurses get jobs in different states with fake qualifications, which puts patients’ health at risk. The review showed that there was no proof that fake nurses caused any harm to patients. But almost a third of the nurses are still taking care of patients. It was said that this fraud scheme would hurt the image of nurses who work hard in school and in the field to get their licenses and jobs.
According to the Delaware Nurses Association, there are rumors that some fake nurses have ties to Delaware and may work there. The first state to say that cards had been taken away was Delaware. Investigators have found some places where the fake nurses may be working and telling the state board of nursing about it.
The board of nursing should take action against fake nurses and make sure they don’t work. 46 nurses are not allowed to work in the state of New Jersey. The “operation nightingale” database showed that the division of consumer affairs took away the licenses of 20 nurses and briefly took away the licenses of 26 others.
The nurses will show the board of nursing that they have had the right training and education in order to get their licenses back. Five different things are being done to punish participants. In each case, the suspects face wired fraud charges, which are given when a defendant uses interstate electronics to communicate fraud. There are three parts to the supposed plan;
The recruiters helped people who wanted to become nurses get fake papers and degrees.
The qualified fraudster takes the national nursing test to get the license.
After passing tests, the nurses get licenses in a number of states and can work as licensed nurses in those states.
The story about fake nursing degrees shows how healthcare systems think. Charges were brought not because anyone was worried about the patient’s safety, but to protect the nursing profession’s good name and make money. Some people who want to be nurses work in health care systems with fake qualifications, putting patients’ lives at risk.
Nursing is an honorable job that has to do with people’s lives and health, so you can’t take short-cuts with your training and education and avoid problems like the Florida Fake Nursing Degree Scandal.
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