Case Result: Nurse's License Preserved Despite Involvement in "Operation Nightingale" Investigation

Registered Nurse (RN) 

Primary issue:
A nurse was seemingly implicated in the fraudulent nursing school investigations known as “Operation Nightingale”. She sought her nursing education wherever she could afford it and evaluated the qualifications of her schools based on the information available to her at the time, which indicated that both RN programs she attended were properly approved by the Board of Nursing. However, one of the nursing schools she attended had its approval revoked for allegedly fraudulent misrepresentations to the State of Florida, triggering a wide-ranging series of prosecutions of its graduates. She was investigated as a result of applying for RN licensure in a different state. Many out-of-state licensing boards have an imperfect understanding of the situation evidenced by the “Operation Nightingale” investigation and presume that anyone associated with the embattled nursing schools is unqualified or involved in a fraudulent scheme.

The defense highlighted that the nurse innocently pursued her education based on information available at the time, and both RN programs she attended were approved by the Board of Nursing. Many state licensing boards wrongly presume graduates from these schools are unqualified or involved in Operation Nightingale fraud. The defense argued that the denial of licensure in another state was not due to proven fraud but due to suspicion. They emphasized that denial of licensure is considered discipline under Florida’s reciprocal action statute, leading to her investigation in Florida. The defense maintained that the actual record did not prove the underlying allegation of fraud, and the only proven violation was her failure to prove qualifications to another state’s board. The defense further argued that the question of her personal involvement in the school’s alleged fraud found by Operation Nightingale was not properly before the Florida Board and was not proven.

The Florida Board acknowledged concerns about her educational background but agreed with the defense that the underlying allegation of fraud was not proven. Consequently, her license was not revoked and remains clear and active.

Areas of Law:
Healthcare Professional Licensing Defense
Department of Health Investigations
Nursing Board Hearings
Nursing License Defense Law

Joseph Iennaco

This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different, and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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