MANHATTAN (CN) – Seventeen former students of a defunct program at American University of Antigua claim in court that the school falsely promised them a shot at getting nursing licenses in the United States.
In 2008 the West Indies-based American University of Antigua opened a program allowing graduates to enroll in a 1-year Bachelor of Science degree at New York City’s Lehman College, according to the 156-page complaint in New York County Supreme Court.
“Specifically, the participating students would spend their first two (2) years working toward an Associate of Science in Nursing degree at AUA’s School of Nursing, with the goal of passing the National Council Licensure Examination (hereinafter ‘NCLEX’) upon receiving their degree from AUA,” the complaint states. “Upon passing the NCLEX, the participating students would then have the option to continue at Lehman for an additional year and graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, conferred by Lehman.”
Lehman is not a defendant.
While both universities promoted the affiliation on their websites, they did not disclose that foreign nursing programs must be certified for students to eligible to take the NCLEX, and the AUA did not have that certification, say the 17 students, from five states and two foreign countries.
“When students then currently enrolled at AUA learned from graduates that they would be ineligible to take the NCLEX in New York (and most likely any other state), and unable to continue their education at Lehman, many students justifiably dropped out of AUA instead of incurring additional tuition expenses,” the complaint states. “In fact, AUA’s School of Nursing is now closed.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
Four years later, AUA persuaded the New York State Department of Education to allow its graduates to take the NCLEX, but for the plaintiffs, it was too late, the students say.
“As a result, graduates of AUA’s School of Nursing could not be hired as or gain employment as a nurse in the State of New York from their time of graduation until 2012, when the agreement between AUA and the Department of Education was entered into,” the complaint states. “Further, as such a lengthy period of time has gone by since graduating, plaintiffs are not likely to pass the NCLEX without taking extensive review courses and clinical classes.”
Each student demands $200,000, for 85 separate causes of action, including breach of contract, fraud and negligence.
They are represented by Jamie Andrew Schreck.