On January 25, 2023, three schools in South Florida – Siena College of Health, Palm Beach School of Nursing, and the Sacred Heart International Institute –were shut down due to an alleged wire-fraud scheme of 25 individuals handing out bogus nursing diplomas.
More than 7,600 buyers purchased fake diplomas from these schools from 2016 through 2021. With these documents, the buyers were able to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) for registered nurses, which they passed. This allowed the nurses to get licenses in other states, such as Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee.
Many nurses working in health care institutions have been affected by these events. In New York, most nurses who studied in the three schools above have received emails from the Office of the Professions, requesting for the non-disciplinary surrender of their licenses. If, however, they are able to submit evidence that they earned credits from an approved nursing program that is not from the above three schools and have sufficiently demonstrated that they have met the education requirements for licensure, there is a possibility that there is no need to surrender their nursing license.
Nurses who attended those schools got messages along the lines of
- your license was issued based on evidence
- owners were engaged in a scheme
- your name was provided as an individual who allegedly did not actually complete the program, hours/courses and clinical training to earn a degree
- the department requests that you surrender your license or provide alternative proof of qualification
- non-disciplinary surrender
- acceptable education and examination
- you may within 14 days ….such as a transcript from an institution that is not the above three schools
At our office, we think that it will be possible for nurses who surrender their license to apply to get the license reinstated, either by showing that they completed the coursework at the three schools or by obtaining the coursework from elsewhere. But one has to be very careful in dealing with the licensing board.
It is possible that the department has made a mistake in identifying the real from the bogus nurses. If you have received this email and need legal representation, the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY, and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at email@example.com.