DE Annuls 26 Nurse Licenses Connected To Fake Nursing Diploma Scheme
Georgia recently announced that 22 nurses are under investigation after news of the fake nursing diplomas broke. The Georgia Board of Nursing sent letters to the individuals asking them to voluntarily surrender their nursing licenses within 30 days. The letters were sent on January 17th and so far none of the nurses have turned their licenses over.
“It’s concerning and alarming,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “Our job is to make sure that our people in Georgia, our patients know they have credentialed nurses that are practicing there."
Three nurses were removed during a shift from the Atlanta VA Medical Center. “Within days of learning of this nationwide scheme, we removed three nurses from patient care at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Their removal is very unfortunate but patient safety is and must be our primary responsibility at VA,” said VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes.
The Georgia State Board of Nursing and Raffensperger's office are currently working with the FBI to determine the next steps to revoke the licenses of the 22 nurses if they do not surrender the licenses voluntarily.
After the news of the fake nursing diplomas rocked the healthcare world, Delaware is the first state to announce that 26 nursing licenses have been revoked.
The Delaware State Board of Nursing did not release the names of the individuals that have lost their nursing licenses but stated that additional information regarding the individuals, investigation, and licenses will be released sometime in February.
"All of us feel this is egregious," said Dr. Pamela Zickafoose, the Executive Director of Delaware's Board of Nursing.
According to a press release from the Delaware Nurses Association (DNA) in a closed session held in November 2022, the Delaware Board of Nursing sent 26 individual annulment letters. The information was only released after the federal investigation and subsequent arrest of multiple individuals.
Delaware Nurses Association (DNA) President Stephanie McClellan, MBA, MSN, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC, stated, “We are deeply unsettled by this egregious act. We want all Delaware nurses to be aware of this active issue and to speak up if there is a concern regarding capacity to practice safely by a colleague/peer. This act is not a representation of our code of ethics and standards of practice nor our commitment to patients and our community.”
What will happen to the nurses with fake diplomas?
The nurses that had their nursing licenses annulled will have the ability to appeal the decision but Delaware officials believe the nurses were aware what they were doing was illegal. At this time, the 26 individuals have not been arrested; however, officials will be looking into their nursing performance history for any incidences that could be concerning.
"These people who went to these Florida schools did not complete the curriculum, the clinical training that is required of all nurses to be eligible to be licensed as a nurse," said Dr. Zickafoose.
Impact on the nursing profession
Nursing school officials are concerned about the ramifications the federal investigation will have on the nursing profession. Nurses were recently named the #1 most trusted profession for a record 21 years by an annual Gallup poll. "So immediately you think, 'wow, will the public trust us when you hear stories like that?'" said Kathleen Czekanski, the dean of the school of nursing at La Salle University.
DNA’s Executive Director, Christopher E. Otto, MSN, RN, PCCN, CCRN, stated, “This unparalleled act of fraud and deceit does not reflect the integrity of our profession. The public should be reassured that longstanding safeguards alerted regulators to these cases, and resultant actions have already been completed. It is this safety infrastructure embedded within our profession that protects the public, and maintains the high integrity standards of nursing. Increased awareness and continued action are key to the ongoing mitigation of these cases. Nurse regulators, educators and leaders across the nation and in Delaware have and continue to respond to these ongoing cases promptly and thoroughly. DNA commends the Delaware Board of Nursing and others for their prompt and swift actions to continue protecting our communities.”
Delaware is part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) which means nurses that are originally licensed in Delaware have the ability to practice nursing in other eNLC states. This is very common, especially among travel nurses. No additional information about where the 26 nurses were practicing has been released.
Nurse.org has reached out to the Delaware State Board of Nursing but has not reached a reply at this time.
Nurse.org's Popular Articles and Resources
Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs
Looking for a change beyond the bedside? Check out our list of the top non-bedside nursing careers
15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs in 2023
You know all nursing jobs aren’t created (or paid!) equally, but do you know which nurses are making the most money in 2023?
2023's Best Nursing Schools
We've looked at programs nationwide and determined these are our top schools
Best Shoes for Nurses in 2023
We had nurses wear top-rated shoes to work and give their honest reviews. These are the best nursing shoes as rated by nurses.