Operation Nightingale NY Defense Attorneys

Nursing credentials, including a nursing degree, demonstrate that the person who holds them has completed a certain level of education and training. These credentials also grant access to further credentialing opportunities, like the chance to sit for nursing board exams. Proof of passing exam grades may qualify an individual to receive a nursing license. 

Because a nursing degree lays the foundation for exam success and licensure, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) looks carefully at the schools that offer nursing degrees. “Operation Nightingale” recently revealed that some schools sold fake or fraudulent degrees and transcripts. 

Now, HHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are taking a closer look at those who have degrees from these schools. If you’re called upon to defend your credentials, don’t do it alone. Talk to the experienced nursing certification defense lawyers at the Brill Legal Group for help. 

What is Operation Nightingale?

Operation Nightingale was a coordinated law enforcement action that took place in five states: Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. During Operation Nightingale, law enforcement officers executed search warrants and arrested 25 people allegedly connected to a scheme to sell fake nursing degrees and transcripts to people who had not earned them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office later filed wire fraud charges in federal court against these 25 individuals. 

People who received the fraudulent credentials used them to gain the opportunity to sit for the national nursing board exam. Those who passed the exam became eligible to receive a license to work as a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/VN). Some individuals did receive licenses and go on to work as nurses. 

How Might Nurses Be Affected?

Operation Nightingale identified over 7,600 fake nursing diplomas and transcripts that were sold by several nursing schools located in Florida. These schools included:

  • Med-Life Institute WPB
  • Palm Beach School of Nursing
  • Quisqueya Health Care Academy
  • Quisqueya School of Nursing (also known as “Sunshine Academy”) 
  • Sacred Heart International Institute
  • Siena College/Siena College of Health

These schools also issued diplomas and transcripts to students who enrolled in and completed courses of study. Today, nurses who earned their credentials from these schools work in the nursing profession – and they may do so alongside nurses who purchased their credentials as a shortcut to licensure. 

State licensing boards are now taking a closer look at all nurses who have credentials from these institutions. Nurses whose credentials are flagged as “suspicious” may be asked to surrender their licenses voluntarily. In exchange, state licensing boards say they will not pursue disciplinary action.

For nurses who obtained fake or fraudulent credentials, a voluntary license surrender may be the best option. For nurses who worked to earn legitimate degrees, however, license surrender is unfair and often unacceptable.

Proving You Earned Your Nursing Degree

State licensing boards also allow nurses to prove that they completed the classes on their transcripts and earned the credits required for their degrees. Proving you did this work can be difficult, however. Most educated professionals trust that their degree and transcript provide proof that they enrolled in school and did the work. 

If you receive news that your degree is in question, don’t wait. Delaying or ignoring the notice will only make the problem harder to solve. Instead, speak to an experienced professional licensed defense attorney. Your attorney can help you understand the issue you face and choose the best course of action. 

For many New York nurses, the best choice will be to gather information and submit the documentation required to prove that you earned your nursing degree. If you begin to have serious doubts about your credentials, however, you also have the option to surrender your license without facing additional disciplinary actions or charges. 

Do not choose a path of action without speaking to an attorney first, however. Make sure you ask questions and get the information you need to understand all your options before you act.

Choosing an Experienced Defense Attorney

Your nursing credentials form the basis of your entire career. Whether you’re new to the field or have a demonstrated track record of skill and care for patients, any threat to your credentials could mean the end of all you have worked to achieve. If you’re facing an investigation, talk to the team at the Brill Legal Group today. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We’ll answer your questions and help you make an informed choice about your future.

Just when I was getting discouraged and was at my wits end trying to find the right attorney for my case, a family member recommended Mr. Brill. He did not disappoint. Mr. Brill and his team are diligent, very professional, encouraging and honest every step of the way. Highly recommended.

- A.S.