Nurses provide crucial support for doctors and medical facilities across the country, but what happens when the quality of that care is not what it should be due to fraudulent credentials?
According to Nurse.com, more than 7,000 individuals purchased fake nursing diplomas over the past 18 months, part of a growing scam that caught the attention of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several nursing regulatory organizations.
Several nursing schools involved
When unusual or suspect transcript information began to surface over the past year, the FBI began to work closely with regulatory groups to identify repeat suspicious activity across several nursing school records. Both groups identified several red flags, including lists of classes that did not amount to the earning of a bachelor’s of science in the nursing field but rather a lesser degree. Investigations revealed a noticeable pattern, particularly with diplomas generated out of several Florida-based nursing schools.
Individuals paid for false information
A deeper look into this scam revealed that more than 100 people paid for falsified documents in order to work in the nursing field. This includes doctored transcripts and fake diplomas that cost those involved up to $15,000 in fees in exchange for authentic-looking documents that allowed them to either work in fields for which they were not qualified or to apply for jobs that were otherwise far beyond their reach.
Nursing board revealed some evidence of wrongdoing
As the scam spread, the board of nursing assisted by providing the names of students who received diplomas without ever having enrolled in the school that allegedly generated the degree. The connections revealed that many working nurses held these falsified credentials.
Some investigators believe that students who had difficulty with the rigorous training involved in nursing caused the scam to grow, as it allowed these individuals shortcuts to find work in the field.