What’s done in the dark always comes to light. Federal officials have accused 22 practicing Georgia nurses of using fraudulent documents to obtain their nursing licenses.
WSBTV News learned that the Georgia Board of Nursing sent each a letter on Jan. 17 asking them to surrender their nursing licenses within 30 days voluntarily.
So far, none of the nurses have.
“It’s concerning and alarming,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray.
“Our job is to make sure that our people in Georgia, our patients know they have credentialed nurses that are practicing there,” Raffensperger added.
The Georgia nurses allegedly paid $15,000 each for a fake diploma from three south Florida nursing schools.
The FBI and Justice Department launched Operation Nightingale, which led to the bust of the $100,000 million nationwide fraud ring last week.
Federal prosecutors also claim that instead of going to class, the nurses bought degrees and transcripts.
“The fact of the matter is the nursing candidates had done no work for these diplomas,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe.
Channel 2 Action News confirmed that three nurses worked at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
“Within days of learning of this nationwide scheme, we removed three nurses from patient care at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Their removal is very unfortunate, but patient safety is and must be our primary responsibility at VA,” said VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes.
Raffensperger said state investigators are working with the FBI to get the evidence they need to revoke the licenses of any of the nurses who refuse to surrender their licenses voluntarily.