After doing in-depth investigations, the Texas Board of Nursing in the United States has said that it will take no less than 75 nurses to court for issues related to fake certificates.
On the list that was posted on the board’s website, 43 of the names were those of nurses who were from Nigeria.
In February, the PUNCH said that 18 Nigerian nurses living in the US had been charged with making fake certificates.
The US government said that this list would always be updated as the board learned more about “the fake diploma/transcript scheme.”
Our correspondent checked the list and found that the number of Nigerians had gone from 18 to 43, making it longer.
Operation Nightingale was a multi-state coordinated law enforcement action that started on January 25, 2023. It was led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The goal was to catch people who were involved in a scheme to sell fake nursing degree diplomas and transcripts.
The board said this about the situation: “The board has filed formal charges against the following nurses for getting their credentials through fraud. The board is allowed to file formal charges against a nurse if there is reason to believe that the nurse did one of the things listed in Tex. Occ. Code 301.452(b) or did something else that broke the law. See 301.458 of the Tex. Occ. Code. Also, formal charges are available to the public. See Texas Occupation Code 301.466 (b).
“Please keep in mind that formal charges are not the end of a nurse’s punishment, and while formal charges are pending, a nurse can still work as a nurse.
The PUNCH reports that the Texas Board of Nursing had charged the health workers at the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, saying the nurses allegedly participated in a wire fraud scheme that created an illegal licensing and employment shortcut for aspiring nurses.
According to the charge documents, the scheme fraudulently sells nursing degree diplomas and transcripts obtained from accredited Florida-based nursing schools to individuals seeking licences and jobs as registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses.
A special agent in charge of the investigations, Omar Aybar, said the alleged selling and purchasing of nursing diplomas and transcripts to willing but unqualified individuals is a crime that potentially endangers the health and safety of patients and insults the honourable 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.