A “fake nursing school” in Koreatown agreed to pay a half-million-dollar settlement to students who authorities say were tricked into paying thousands of dollars in tuition to become registered nurses, according to a statement from the office of California Attorney General Jerry Brown.

RN Learning Center fooled as many as 300 students into forking over $20,000 each to enroll in classes, the A.G.'s office stated: The school claimed to offer fast-track programs for students to get their credentials within two years.

“By creating the illusion it was training future registered nurses,” stated Brown, “the school destroyed the aspirations of hundreds of students who also lost thousands of dollars in wasted tuition. The school will shut its doors today and pay back its former students as fully as it can.”

A board from the state agency that provides oversight for the practice and education of nurses conducted an investigation into the school back in 2007. They ordered the school to close and posted a warning on its website about fake nursing schools in California.

The RN Learning Center conducted graduation ceremonies to keep the illusion that it was a legitimate campus, according to Brown's office. Around 50 of the school's students applied to take the National Council Licensing Exam, a test that qualifies students to become registered nurses. The transcripts they submitted were declared fraudulent and the students were not allowed to take the test, according to the A.G. Since the school is unaccredited, all of the classes the students completed would not count.

The RN Learning Center reportedly targeted Filipino-Americans who were already employed in the health field. The students even traveled to the Philippines to study in hospital and prisons while taking classes at a school that was also not approved by California's board, according to the A.G.'s office.

A women identified only as Faith, a student from the RN Learning Center, attended classes for two years, driving 240 miles a week from Bakersfield to Wilshire Boulevard, according to the A.G.'s statement.

“My children, ex-husband, brother, friends and everyone I worked with, can attest to my commitment and sacrifice I made to complete this program,” she stated. “We the students have lost a lot.”

Former students of the school were urged to contact the Attorney General's Office at (213) 897-2000.

LA Weekly