PRESS RELEASE: The Arizona State Board of Nursing & Operation Nightingale

Jan 30, 2023

The Arizona State Board of Nursing (“Board”) is aware of the United States Department of Justice’s investigation and allegations of fraudulently issued Florida nursing diplomas.

To date, out of the 7,600 potential fraudulent graduates of the three Florida nursing programs involved with the alleged scheme, the number of identified individuals in Arizona who may be involved with active Arizona licenses is approximately 10. The Board has not received any reports of patient harm related to the identified individuals of concern.

This is a complex investigation due to the federal and state-level concerns, and the fact that the nursing programs involved, all of which were in other states (not Arizona), at one time held legitimate credentials.

The Board is and has been taking the appropriate actions to protect Arizona related to this matter. If credentials are fraudulent, the Board has the ability to revoke or deny licensure, after providing due process to the individual involved.

Individuals identified by the federal investigation as possibly having illegitimate educational credentials have been identified by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, and flagged in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing nationwide data system. This means that all state boards of nursing, including Arizona’s, can monitor the individuals until their case is resolved. Once a disciplinary action has been taken by one state board of nursing related to diploma fraud, all of the other state boards of nursing will have access to that information in order to prevent additional fraud.

We will continue to partner with other boards of nursing, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and federal law enforcement authorities, as appropriate, to detect, investigate, and resolve these allegations of diploma and credential fraud.

It should be noted that Board investigations are confidential by statute. A.R.S. section 32-1664(M) and (N).