Following extensive investigations, the Texas Board of Nursing in the United States reported that it had accused no fewer than 75 nurses with certificate fraud.
On the list provided on the board’s website, 43 of the identities were recognized as Nigerian-born nurses.
In February, HowNG revealed that 18 Nigerian nurses in the United States had been prosecuted with credential forgery.
The US authorities had said that list would be updated continuously as the board received additional information about “the fraudulent diploma/transcript scheme.”
Our correspondent discovered that the list had become longer, with the number of Nigerians increasing from 18 to 43.
The ‘Operation Nightingale’ investigations were described as a multi-state coordinated law enforcement action involving the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and were launched on January 25, 2023, to arrest individuals involved in a scheme to sell false and fraudulent nursing degree diplomas and transcripts.
Commenting on the matter, the board said, “The board has filed formal charges against the following nurses for fraudulently obtaining educational credentials. The board is authorised to file formal charges against a nurse if probable cause exists that the nurse has committed an act listed in Tex. Occ. Code §301.452(b) or that violates other laws. See Tex. Occ. Code §301.458. Further, formal charges are publicly available. See Tex. Occ. Code §301.466(b).
“Please note that formal charges are not a final disciplinary action, and a nurse is permitted to work, as a nurse, while formal charges are pending.
According to HowNG, the Texas Board of Nursing charged the nurses in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleging that the nurses took part in a wire fraud operation that created an illegal licensure and employment shortcut for aspiring nurses.
The conspiracy, according to the charges, falsely offers nursing degree credentials and transcripts obtained from accredited Florida-based nursing schools to individuals seeking licenses and careers as registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses.
Omar Aybar, the special agent in charge of the investigations, stated that the suspected sale and acquisition of nursing diplomas and transcripts to willing but unfit individuals is a crime that endangers patients’ health and safety and insults the honorable profession of nursing.
The overall scheme involved the distribution of more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas issued by three South Florida-based nursing schools: Siena College in Broward County, Fl; Palm Beach School of Nursing in Palm Beach County, Fl; Sacred Heart International Institute in Broward County.