The Oregon Board of Nursing says it is investigating whether about a dozen nurses in the state took part in a nationwide scheme that allegedly sold fake nursing diplomas as shortcut to employment.
The investigation conducted by the FBI and National Council of State Boards of Nursing involves whether nurses across the country bought fake diplomas rather than completing the necessary courses to get diplomas.
Twenty-five people in Florida were charged for their alleged participation in the scheme that generated more than $100 million. They face up to 20 years in prison.
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“The bogus diplomas and transcripts qualified purchasers to sit for the national nursing board exam and, after passing it, to obtain licenses and jobs in various states as RNs and LPN/VNs,” the U.S. Department of Justice Southern District of Florida said in a statement. “The overall scheme involved the distribution of more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas issued by three South Florida-based nursing schools: Siena College in Broward County, Fla., Palm Beach School of Nursing in Palm Beach County, Fla., and Sacred Heart International Institute in Broward County. These schools are now closed.”
The Oregon Board of Nursing said it will be discussing the alleged cases in this state at a meeting on Feb 22. A spokesperson for the board would not say if any of the nurses under investigation were based in Central Oregon.