California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. this week closed down a sham RN school that targeted Filipino-Americans who already worked in healthcare. He announced a $500,000 settlement with the operator of the school in Los Angeles.
"By creating the illusion it was training future registered nurses, the school destroyed the aspirations of hundreds of students who also lost thousands of dollars in wasted tuition," Brown said in a statement. "The school will shut its doors today and pay back its former students as fully as it can."
In the settlement negotiated by the attorney general's office, Junelou Chalico Enterina, owner and operator of the fake school agreed to close his business and pay victims restitution of $500,000. He also promised never to open another nursing school in California.
Only upon applying to the nursing board to take the National Council Licensing Examination, which qualifies nursing school graduates to become licensed registered nurses, did about 50 students discover that they were not eligible for licensing because their transcripts were declared fraudulent. Although students took courses--including anatomy, microbiology and how to do sutures--none of their coursework counted toward a bachelor of science degree in nursing because the center was not licensed.
Up to 300 students paid $20,000 each to attend classes at RN Learning Center, which advertised a two-year, fast-track program for a B.S. in nursing.
One student, Faith Tubi, a single mother of two who paid more than $20,000 in tuition and commuted 240 miles twice a week to take classes at the school, said her licensing exam applications kept getting rejected, the Associated Press reports.
The settlement concludes a board investigation that began in early 2007. Although the RN Learning Center marketed itself as a nursing school, it never applied to the nursing board to obtain accreditation as a school of nursing.
To learn more:
- see the RN Learning Center complaint
- here's the California attorney general's press release
- read the Associated Press story
- check out this Los Angeles Times blog post