HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Public Health is offering a free refresher course for licensed practical nurses who graduated from Stone Academy after Nov. 1, 2021 — but also warning that recent graduates who pass it up could lose their licenses.
Stone Academy abruptly closed its three campuses in East Hartford, Waterbury and West Haven in February, leaving more than 800 students in the dark about what comes next.
The three Stone Academy locations had low pass rates, unqualified instructors, “invalid” clinical experience opportunities and didn’t adequately record student attendance, according to a letter released Feb. 14 from the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.
In a frequently asked question document for Stone Academy graduates, the state department of public health wrote that “the most serious concern” was the lack of supervised, direct clinical care experiences that the school offered.
The free training and refresher course is for licensed practical nurses who have passed the National Council Licensure Examination. Those who take the course must sign a stipulated agreement that essentially pauses their license until they finish the 40-hour course.
The state is issuing licenses to recent graduates who pass the NCLEX. However, it warned that for those who pass up the refresher course, the department of public health may investigate that student’s preparation, and possibly take disciplinary action against those they deem not to be adequately prepared. That can include revoking a student’s license, and reporting them tot he National Practitioner Databank.
The school itself is facing an investigation from Attorney General William Tong’s office, which has accused Stone Academy of not cooperating. Tong has demanded detailed information from Stone Academy, including what tuition was paid.
The state has said it will individually look over student records to see what credits count and if they apply for loan discharges and tuition refunds. It plans to spend $200,000 to audit the school, paid for by the Student Protection Account, which is funded by quarterly payments from career schools.