Significant numbers of immigrant nurses, mostly from Nigeria, are being prosecuted for using fake documents, fake licenses/certificates/diplomas to practice in the U.S. and the investigation is ongoing. Twenty-three nurses were originally indicted, and eighteen of those were from Nigeria. Updated reports suggest that as many as forty-three nurses from Nigeria are facing charges, for paying for documents that enabled them to enter the workforces rather than continue in their respective nursing programs – all in Florida.
Now their actions have come back to haunt them, and they are running helter-skelter. Officially, the Texas Board of Nursing in the United States of America has announced that it has charged at least seventy-five nurses over the issue of falsification of certificates on the list posted on their website. Forty-three of those names have been identified to be of Nigerian origin. The U.S. Authority has said that the list will continuously be updated as the ongoing investigation continues, and the board receives additional information.
This investigation, tagged Operation Nightingale, involving law enforcement, the United States Department of Human and Health Services, and Officers of the Inspector Generals, was launched on January 25, 2023, to arrest individuals who were engaged in this scheme of selling false and fraudulent Nursing degree and diplomas and transcripts. The Texas Board of Nursing says they charged the health workers at district courts for the southern district of Florida, stating that the workers participated in this fraud scheme, by creating illegal licenses and employment shortcuts for aspiring nurses. According to the court document, the scheme fraudulently sold degrees, diplomas, and transcripts that were being obtained by these accredited Florida-based nursing schools, to individuals seeking licenses and jobs, as registered nurses or licensed practical or vocational nurses.
One of the officers who was involved in this investigation said the alleged selling and purchasing of nursing diplomas and transcripts was to unqualified individuals who were willing to pay many thousands of dollars to unscrupulous individuals to expedite their entry into the workforce. This is a crime that endangers the lives of people, not just the health and safety of patients, but also insults the nursing profession because there are people who toil day and night reading, and burning the night candles, just to qualify as a nurse and yet, there are people that are taking shortcuts and paying in cash. This puts Nigeria in a bad light and already people see us as a country with many fraudsters. This taints individuals who are genuinely working legally to make an honest living.
African Nurses Targeted by License Forgery Scheme