3 Nurses Fired After Florida Schools Discovered Fake Diploma Scheme


By Aspen Popowski

The scheme, which created more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas, was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Three Atlanta nurses were removed from their positions at an Atlanta VA medical center once officials were made aware of a scheme involving fake nursing diplomas.

The scheme, which created more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas, was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Federal agents learned that three south Florida-based nursing schools were involved in the scheme which included Siena College, Palm Beach School of Nursing and Sacred Heart International Institute.

The scheme not only put patients at risk but damaged the image of unsuspecting nurses who received fake diplomas and transcripts from the three accredited schools, according to a news release from the United States Department of Justice.

The medical center said the nurse’s removals were “very unfortunate but patient safety is and must be our primary responsibility at [veteran’s affairs].” The nurses were removed within days once the medical center became aware of the scheme, according to a statement from officials with the VA.

Aspiring nurses affected by the scheme may lose their certification but likely won't be criminally charged, federal officials said. It is up to the various states to vet and approve their license.

As for the 25 people possibly involved in the scheme, they face up to 20 years in prison. The Florida nursing schools are now closed.



  • This reminds me of when I was married to my second husband. I knew nothing about him before we married and learned oh so much afterward... piece by piece, and wound up divorcing after a very rocky 5 years of trying to "help him". It was the nurse in me when I figured out I was actually trying to "fix him" and that's when I knew I had to leave. But during that time there was one more thing (illegal) he did that I remembered after reading your article. He was a self-employed (when he worked) mechanic (not in the medical field ). So that he would have more opportunities for work and feel better about himself, he went online and for $700 bought a Master's Degree Certificate. What a surprise when I discovered that ! One more deciding factor in leaving him.

  • If nursing knowing accepted/purchased the false documents to gain the opportunity to take the NCLEX should be criminally charged as they knowingly committed fraud, putting patients at risk and devaluing the degrees and licenses of those whoe earned them!

  • How awful. I worked very hard for my Nursing Degree and believe that those who allowed this to happen lose their livelihood. Shame on them. What were they thinking? I can only imagine how patient care suffered from this. Thank you for letting me vent.

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