My fall from grace in nursing was a slow process, as it often is for those of us who didn’t call a spade a shovel. You might first be sent to the equivalent of nursing Siberia – the staff room where everyone speaks to everyone, but not to you. This usually accompanies a stint on bed-pan alley, and subtle innuendos that your name has a thick line ruled through it. Oh my dear hearts of today, you may as well swallow the whistle and choke on it, rather than blow it!
My fall from the 36D bosom of nursing led to me being a gypsy of sorts, as nursing agencies peddled my services to a variety of private shit-holes … Oops! … that should be ‘private nursing homes and hospitals’, which ‘offer unparalleled care to our dearly beloved residents’. It was whilst I was doing a drug round at one of these (very) unparallel shit-holes that I first met Mary – a nurse doing her NMC pre-registration course for overseas nurses, as it was then. Mary wasn’t her real name, just as they are not when speaking to someone in an Indian call centre. She asked me, “Can I do one?”, dispense a medication, that is. The prescribed dose was 100mg, and the liquid strength was 50mg in 5ml – the simplest of calculations for any nurse. As I watched Mary slowly pour 10mls into a medicine pot – hovering over the 5ml mark! – I began to have certain doubts! “Is this right?”, she asked, handing me the pot. “Very nearly”, I replied, somewhat kindly, “but perhaps we can just take 2ml out”. Whatever her slight ‘failings’, she had a gentle heart of 24 carat gold, and that made me worried for her, and is why I remember her. More of Mary, soon.
As I came to the end of my nursing travels, and having had my nursing procedures hovered over by (“Can I watch?, you do it differently here”) ‘nurses’, the subject of fake certificates became of interest. Here are the results of my most recent research into this topic:
The idea that any average Joe or Joanne can buy a fake nursing degree and practise in the UK is likely to be false. Joe or Joanne would need some nursing experience before buying the degree and accompanying certificates that would allow them to practise as a registered nurse. The seven nurses recently arrested in California had nursing experience. A report in allnurses.com (June 6, 2014), sated: ‘Seven people have plead guilty to charges of forgery for using fake transcripts to become licensed as Registered Nurses. All were arrested as a result of a multi-agency probe initiated by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) that involved the Division of Investigation (DOI), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) … BRN licensing staff were instrumental in assisting with identifying the individuals involved and verifying they did not attend the nursing schools listed on applications for licensure. “Protecting patient safety is the Board’s top priority,” said Louise Bailey, Executive Officer of the Board of Registered Nursing. “A nurse without the proper education could be dangerous to a patient”. (In my experience, nurses with so-called ‘proper education’, and a lack of being able to convert it to good practice, have been a danger to patients).
They may have had a nursing degree and falsified their transcripts to show that they’d had all the requisite theory/clinical experiences. They may have partly gone through Nursing school. They may have been care assistants with a lot of clinical/theoretical knowledge, and I have known many of them. The end result is that they somehow managed to convince the nursing authorities that they met all the requirements for initial registration, and passed the required (NCLEX) exam. Although this is a difficult exam, enough study material exists that would allow someone to pass it. All seven people were sentenced on June 27, 2014. There are investigations into another 100 plus cases.
A question is: if people are willing to run the gauntlet of a very tough American regime, involving HSI, with severe penalties for offenders, how much more likely is it that they will come to the UK?, with its chocolate fireguard of a nurse regulatory organisation that performs No Meaningful Checks (NMC).
We are not talking about fake online degrees and transcripts from bogus colleges. My research identifies some of the premier league of forgery experts, who use the most advanced technology to replicate degrees, birth certificates, and driving and marriage licenses:
(http://www.superiorfakedegrees.com).’Over the years we have developed a true expertise in developing the highest quality custom replicated documents. Our expert printers have the experience and equipment to get the job done to the highest level of quality. Customer service and relationship building is another pillar in our philosophy, in that we strive to provide the most optimal level of customer service with the hopes that the customer will come back for future printing, copying and replicating business. (We supply) Replicated, Fake Degrees/Diplomas from most post-secondary institutions from around the world (we have over 3000 templates on file) all designed to look 100% identical to the original’ (Their Polish passports look extremely ‘real’).
(http://www.diplomareplacementservice.com). ‘Obtaining a Fake Marriage Certificate takes very little time, just click on the ‘order now’ tab on this site and fill out the easy request form to get the authentic marriage certificate you want! We have two types of marriage certificates for your needs that can be customized for almost any country, state and province. They are: The Platinum/Official Marriage Certificate: This certificate looks 100% authentic and is designed to match up equally with originals. It is created by using embossed seals, identical water markings, identical security grade transcript paper, raised ink crests and the correct card stock weight to correspond with institution specifications’.
(http://www.diplomareplacementservice.com). ‘Letter of Recommendation – $25.00 each. Letter of Enrolment Verification – $25.00 each’.
(http://www.nd-center.com). We create and customize detailed fake diplomas and college, university, and high school documents to meet any specific requirements that you may have, no matter how detailed the document might be. We are able to produce extremely genuine documents for any application from a real college degree, a completely customized college transcript, or a fictitious high school diploma. We will gladly make any type of document you may need. All of them are available at a reasonable price and we will provide them for you within a reasonable time frame’.
(http://masterpassport.blogspot.co.uk). ‘We are unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver’s licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for following countries: Australia, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, UK, USA, and so many other countries. We are the best producers of quality documents, with over 1 million of our documents circulating over the world. We offer only original high-quality real and fake passports, driver’s licenses, ID cards, Visas, Birth certificate, stamps etc.’. (Over 1 million!).
(http://www.buydiplomaonline.com/schooluk.html). ‘Many universities, and colleges use either embossing or gold seal. It can be multiple colors as well. Some schools combine different methods to make it look as good as possible, eg. thermographic plus gold foil, or gold foil embossed. Other schools stick with their tradition for many decades, eg. University of London using relief type embossing. For relief type embossing and in case we don’t have the die sets ready, it may take up to three weeks to get it done’. (They also offer an A-Z of UK ‘degrees’, from: Aberystwyth University, American Intercontinental University, Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge), Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford),Aston University, Bangor University, Belfast Royal Hospitals, Birmingham City University (UCE), Boston University, Bournemouth University, British College of Osteopathic Medicine, British School of Osteopathy, Brunel University … (Lincoln University ‘degrees’ look particularly authentic).
(http://www.diplomasandtranscripts.com). ‘Realistic fake diplomas, degrees, and transcripts with authentic seals from the college or university of your choice shipped quick and starting under $60! At DiplomasAndTranscripts.com we also offer genuine looking GED certificates and General Equivalency score sheets at prices our competitors cannot beat! Our novelty college and university diplomas are printed on premium heavyweight ivory paper stock, and they are also available with metallic gold, raised foil, and replica school seals! Our fake transcripts and GED score sheets are printed on genuine anti-tamper security paper, and are available with embossed registrar seals, and we have over one hundred fake degrees and majors on file for you to select from to complete your college or university transcript’.
(http://www.fakediplomanow.com).’Fake College Degrees and Transcripts offers quality diploma replication and fake college degrees and transcripts, Our quality cannot be match because we use the same exact printing equipment as every major university including the same transcripts security paper. What ever the reason your looking for a fake diploma, novelty degree or university transcripts, choose us. We are not only the best quality, but we can match the same design to 100% accuracy, with no difference in quality and authenticity of our fake degrees. 100% exact as the original. If you look at our samples page you will notice the effort we put into creating a quality degree, everything from raised lettering to embossed foil seals. Our fake degrees are truly amazing. We even use the same exact registrar signatures as the date of graduation you request. Remember that using these for job interviews and other professional matters are illegal in many countries. Be careful of how you use these products … However our products are guaranteed not to be exposed, so there is no fear in using them. They have passed rigorous scrutiny from many experts in the field and passed with flying colors. You have no fear in buying one from us … Our largest market is in the Asian Region where our products are seen as great novelty items or as great show pieces. The laws in these countries are less stringent against novelty item so they can purchase them without and fear of recrimination from the authorities … For added authenticity, our fake diplomas are printed on high-quality parchment paper to match the original documents. Original seals of the school are also raised embossed on the diploma. We use the school real seal and not replacement seal that other faked diploma website offers … We also use customized safe-security paper on each of our fake transcripts in order to match the original. Why bother with generic looking fake diploma, why not go for the real deal and get yourself fake degrees that have been painstakingly created with the utmost care and even if subjected to close examination our fake diplomas will pass any quality check, so why take a risk with low quality alternatives, when we are here to create authentic fake university diplomas for you! As a matter of fact, we operate much of the same printing and embossing equipment actual universities use to print their own diplomas. Through our years of experience in the diploma printing business, we have also amassed the largest stock of real college & university diploma templates found anywhere. When printing replica diplomas for our customers, in many cases, We uses the exact color and weight parchment and printing techniques that the specific college or university of your choice would use to print their own diplomas. In addition to producing the most authentic quality replica diplomas available, Underground Documents also produces extremely realistic, replica transcripts that can be customized to your exact specifications. Our replica academic transcripts include and allow you to customize everything from classes, grades, and grade point average (GPA) to your graduation date, dates of attendance, student ID number and much more‘.
Thus, a choice of entry into UK nursing is offered: use forged documents to enter a UK university and enrol on its nursing degree course. UK universities use derisory checks, if a document looks kosher, that will do, just cough up the cash. You do not have to be particularly academic, either, just keep stumping up the cash. (http://www.ukessays.com. ‘Every year we deliver over 10,000 custom written pieces of work to students, just like you, who are looking for a little extra help to boost their grade. With the cost of university study increasing in the UK, we know how important it is to make the most of your studies and get the grade you need to kick-start your career … Our passionate team is dedicated to improving your university learning experience by helping you achieve more with your essays, dissertations and coursework. We offer a wide range of services, including our premier custom essay and dissertation writing services, a comprehensive marking service and a wide variety of other services to help you succeed in your studies. We know it’s vital that your order is delivered on time and to the correct standard, which is where our Aftercare team come in. Our Aftercare quality checkers need to eat, sleep and breathe quality – we won’t tolerate anything but the best. This commitment to quality is why we’ve been the UK’s leading writing service for over a decade. All orders are written ‘on request’, which means we guarantee it will be 100% original. In fact, we promise that if your essay is plagiarised, we will give you £5,000 in compensation’.
Alternatively, for those choosing the fast-track and less expensive route, just go and knock on the NMC door. There will always be room in their stable if their various tests on an applicants bona fides are anything to go by.
- Pass an eligibility assessment. Translation = Does the information on your forged documents meet our criteria? Of course it does!
- Take a competence test. Translation = Take a computer-based, multi-choice test at a centre in your own country. Anyone with some nursing experience and a little revision will almost certainly pass this test. Anyone who could pass the tests taken by the seven arrested nurses would sail through this.
- Take the objective-structured clinical examination (OSCE) at the University of Northampton. Translation = In the simulated environment perform a task that you have probably done many times before (most ‘foreign’ nursing is more hands-on), to a level ‘based on current UK pre-registration standards’! This takes the proverbial! The reason why many UK nurse students can not get their first hospital job is because managers can not waste money bringing them up to an up-and-ready level of competence, which their university course did not provide.
- Identification check. Applicants are required to attend a face to face identification check at our office in London. At the ID interview you must produce the original versions of the documents you sent photocopies of. We will undertake final checks on your previous registration, and take a photograph for our records. Translation = Show us the original fakes.
- English language requirements. All applicants also meet our English language requirements, with an international English language test (IELTS) score of 7.0. The seven nurses who were arrested spoke competent English. Applicants know the height of the bar they have to jump over.
Although many newly qualified UK nurses can not get their first hospital job (I have monitored ten Hospital Trusts’ vacancy boards for 6 months, and 80% of them require applicants to have ‘previous experience’), the NMC actively assist foreign nurses to work in the NHS! Don’t tell UKIP! ‘We have been working closely with UK Immigration and Visas (formally the UK Border Agency) to ensure that there are appropriate provisions in place for applicants taking the Test of Competence: Part 2 – the Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE).
For those sponsored by an employer, it is anticipated the sponsorship will formally start from the date of the scheduled OSCE, with arrival permitted up to 14 days ahead of that date. The sponsor may choose to continue to offer sponsorship in cases where the individual needs to re-sit the OSCE. For those without sponsorship who wish to travel to the UK to take the examination, a visitor visa provision is being put in place. This will allow nurses and midwives to enter the UK on a six-month visitor visa specifically to take the OSCE‘. What cost advantages accrue to a sponsoring employer? Who are they? Is it in their interests to insist on rigorous, American-style certificate validation processes? Why are three-quarters of hospital Trusts recruiting from overseas, when their job vacancy adverts clearly debar newly qualified nurses, without the necessary experience, from applying? Answer: There is no shortage of nurses, just a shortage of adequately trained ones. Those who ignore this fact are hiding behind the skirts of the truth. This situation is mirrored in America and Australia, where many newly qualified nurses can not find work.
That the NMC testing system is fat on words but anorexic in effect is suggested by their advice to employers who find that foreign nurse the NMC have registered are not competent – report them to us! It’s like a supermarket saying to customers, if you find our beef products contain horse meat, just let us know, it must have slipped through our very fine net! A cart-horse could jump through the NMC’s net!
The situation with EU nurses is even more Brian Rixish. There is either ‘automatic recognition’, or acquired rights. The NMC assess your training programme directly against the relevant United Kingdom (UK) educational requirements. To do this we need a complete transcript of your training, which must show the number of hours of theoretical and clinical study, and number of deliveries if you are a midwife. Certifying copies of your documents: We accept documents that have been certified by: A legal practitioner (solicitor, lawyer). A notary public. The competent authority in your country of training. An official who is authorised to certify documents from an embassy or consulate. A police officer. A justice of the peace. The office of mayor (when authorised to do so). The certifying authority must confirm they have seen the original document. They must state their full name, profession and stamp and sign the document. We cannot accept faxes and subsequent photocopies of certified documents’. All this can be expertly forged, faxes are superfluous, as most forgery vendors offer a bespoke service – anyone’s signature or stamp of office. It is quite meaningless to have applicants turn up at the Post Office and have passport, birth, and marriage certificates checked, for these documents can be genuine.
The NMC have not been given the resources of their American counterparts. They will not phone a police station in Poland or Bulgaria and ask questions (in Polish or Bulgarian), about nursing applicants. The nurse training programmes in some EU countries are not equivalent to UK levels, which are, themselves, not high enough to guarantee students a job. The level of nursing technologies employed in these countries is inferior. This is the word on the street, away from the cloud-cuckoo tower of the NMC, away from government which declares the NMC is independent of them, but which gives them so little resources that their pitiful defence of UK nursing is in this way directly controlled by government. It is as if an open door policy of nurse recruitment is the aim of the British government, which sends ten troops to guard a border fort against an army of thousands, and only wants these troops to offer meaningless words and useless drills. The British equivalent of the American Homeland Security Service are not asked to investigate potential fraud relating to fake nursing certificates. What does that tell us? By way of answer, it can be explained that the top council members of the NMC are appointed by the Privy Council, that is, by the British Establishment. The NMC are nothing but a branch of the British government. They protect the government and not the public.
That the RCN now remonstrates against the use of off-the-peg foreign nurses, and highlights that it costs £70,000 to train a UK nurse, is laudable, but less so when it refuses to investigate exactly how many of these nursing students get a full time, long term NHS job. It is as if they do not want to bring attention to the poor cost effectiveness and training outcomes of the nurse lecturer industry, which many of their members feed off. If you attack Jack, my dears, you must also attack Jill, or else you will find yourselves falling arse over heels down the slope of the government’s hill, which they are busily greasing for you. Governments are starting to muse over the advantages of one year nursing courses in specialist areas, to create a cheap form of nurse specialist, i.e. surgery/A&E nurses, rather than fund a three year degree course based on the ‘Jack of all trades and the master of none’ principle. A salient question to the RCN ‘top brass’ is: Why do you complain about the increased use of overseas nurses by the NHS, when you are starkly silent about the NMC’s complicity in their recruitment? Is it merely a coincidence that most of the NMC’s ruling committee are RCN members?
The number of ‘fake’ nurses in the UK would fill Wembley Stadium. I came to this conclusion as I recently lay on a hospital ward, ignored by the nurses I repeatedly requested assistance from. It was then that I thought of Mary, who I had once observed holding the hand of an elderly lady patient who was dying. This was after her shift had ended. She explained: “I can’t bear anyone ending this life without a hand to hold”. Remembering Mary, I came to this conclusion: I could not give ‘Jack Shit’ whether the person caring for me had forged documents or not, for I would rather be cared for by someone with a fake certificate and genuine heart than someone with a genuine certificate and a fake heart. Most of us would make this choice, I think, especially as the seven arrested nurses were probably more competent than most UK nursing graduates, and may also have had, like Mary, 24 carat hearts.
lenin nightingale 2014