New York to 900+ nurses: Prove credentials or give up license

As investigations into the fraudulent nursing degree scheme continue, New York officials are requesting more than 900 nurses in the state prove their credentials are legitimate or surrender their licenses.

The New York State Department of Education has identified 903 nurses with degrees from seven nursing schools allegedly tied to the scheme. In a Feb. 7 letter cited by the Times-Union, officials gave nurses 14 days to prove they met the educational and training standards required to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination.

Under the scheme, aspiring nurses paid between $10,000 and $15,000 for fake nursing degrees and transcripts, which allowed them to qualify for the NCLEX without completing the required coursework. About 37 percent of those who bought fake documents passed the test, and many went on to gain licensure and secure employment at U.S. healthcare facilities, according to federal authorities.

"Public information available at this time does not include where graduates of these schools are currently employed," the department said. "Available public information also does not indicate whether or not all documents issued ... are illegitimate. We expect that some licensees who attended these schools did, in fact, attend required hours and clinicals and are properly licensed."

New York has also paused the license applications for 2,352 nursing students with credentials from the schools until they can prove they've met all necessary requirements. 

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