Texas board charges 23 nurses in fake degree scheme as other students speak out

The Texas Board of Nursing charged 23 people as part of the reverberations from "Operation Nightingale," which uncovered a national scheme involving thousands of fake nursing degrees. 

In mid-February, the board filed formal charges against 23 nurses for "fraudulently obtaining educational credentials," according to its website. 

The accused are Jacob Abanda; Yetunde Abiodun; Agnes Addai, RN; Abiodun Adelakun, RN; Joseph Adelekan; Vivien Adeoye; Modinat Adewale; Olufemi Afolabi; Omowunmi Afolabi; Odumegwu Agbo, RN; Charlot Ajibade; Olabisi Akande; Catherine Akhigbe; Folasade Akinrolabu; Esiri Ako; Rosemary Akpan; Bukola Alimi; Awingrug Anaaba, RN; Ndirika Ani; Spendilove Anthony-Annor, RN; Nchekwube Aroh; Albert Asanga; and Sherifat Ayodeji. 

Nursing students who paid thousands of dollars to the people running the scheme told ABC affiliate KTRK they are worried about their careers. 

"We had classes. We did our clinicals at a clinic. Really, nothing seemed out of the normal," one woman told KTRK. Four people in Texas — Anna Itaman, Simon Itaman, Serge Jean and Ludnie Jean — have been charged with leading the scheme. One former student of Jean's NCLEX Review told the news outlet she "wasted two years of my life with that school."

Serena Bumpus, DNP, RN, CEO of the Texas Nurses Association, told KTRK she could not comment on the ongoing investigation but called it "deeply disturbing."

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