The FBI has uncovered a diploma scandal involving Kenyan nurses and nursing schools based in South Florida.
The nurses allegedly purchased fake nursing school accreditation, allowing them to bypass classwork and go straight to taking the National Council Licensing Exam for registered nurses.
As a result, they were able to obtain state nursing licenses and employment in hospitals across several states including Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia, and Texas.
Chad Yarbrough, a special agent with the FBI in Miami, commented on the troubling situation, saying, “What is disturbing about this investigation is that there are over 7,600 people around the country with fraudulent nursing credentials who are potentially in critical healthcare roles treating patients.”
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Markenzy Lapointe, also weighed in on the issue, stating, “Not only is this a public-safety concern, it also tarnishes the reputation of nurses who actually complete the demanding clinical and course work required to obtain their professional licenses and employment.” In response to the scandal, the FBI and other bodies are conducting an extensive review of nursing certificates in the US.
Nursing schools involved in the scandal face potential closure, while the nurses face deportation.