A Baltimore business has agreed to refund an estimated $177,000 to nursing students as part of a settlement over allegations it was offering education programs that wouldn't qualify consumers to work in Maryland, the state's Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler says.

Malmil Ventures LLC, which does business as Associated National Medical Academy, will pay $110,000 in costs and penalties that could be reduced to $35,000 if it follows the order, the state says. It also agreed not to offer programs unless it gets the OK from the Maryland Board of Nursing or the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Previously, it offered accelerated licensed practical nurse and registered nurse "bridge" programs, at a cost of $6,000 and $8,000, respectively.

Associated National Medical Academy denied that it violated the state's consumer protection act, the state says. A message left by Consumer Ally at the academy seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Consumer Ally first reported on this case in May. To be licensed in Maryland, a nurse must have completed a program approved by the state's Board of Nursing.

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