neon emergency room sign
Many hospital managers worry that too many patients use their emergency departments for routine care, at greater cost to the their institutions and the health care system. Credit: KOMU News, flickr creative commons


By Ariella Monti

NC Consumers Council

A phony nursing school in Fayetteville is in hot water after it charged students hundreds of dollars for unlicensed, unaccredited medical courses, according to the North Carolina Department of Justice.

After graduation, students were either unprepared or ineligible for jobs in the field.

Following a complaint by the state attorney general’s office, a Wake County Superior Court granted a request to temporarily bar North Carolina Medical Institute and its owner, Sherita McQueen, from advertising, offering, or accepting payment for any educational products or services.

Often, patients who are readmitted after being sent home from the hospital return through the emergency room. Photo shows nurses rushing a patient on a gurney into a doorway.
Image courtesy Trust for America’s Health

According to the complaint, the school potentially endangered patients by certifying some students as qualified nursing aids even though they completed far less training than required by law. N.C. Medical Institute used a former employee’s nursing license and social security number to enter 50 unqualified Nursing Aide II students into the State Board of Nursing’s electronic registry, which permitted them to get jobs.

The school continued to operate even after losing its license in May for advertising and enrolling students in unlicensed courses, employed unapproved teaching instructors and presented misleading information to the State Board of Community Colleges. An affidavit filed by a state Board of Nursing employee stated that the school continued to offer a Nursing Aide II program despite repeatedly failing to meet state requirements.

McQueen continued to tell prospective students that the courses were accredited and charged fees as high as $800 per class. Once students completed their studies, they found themselves unprepared or ineligible for jobs.

Seeking out vocational training through a private institution may be a good option for some, but prospective students should do their research before enrolling. Trade and technical schools are regulated by the NC Community College System. More information can be found by clicking here.

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