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Two B.C nurses reprimanded for narcotics use

Both nurses diverted narcotics for their own use and one was impaired at work.
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Two B.C. nurses have been reprimanded for theft of medical narcotics.

B.C.'s College of Nurses and Midwives has reprimanded two unnamed nurses for diverting narcotics from the workplace.

In a decision released Nov. 20, the college said one nurse had diverted the medication and falsified records to conceal their tracks.

As part of a consent agreement, conditions include:

  • providing regular reports regarding compliance with biological testing;
  • disclosing treatment recommendations to employer representative(s); and
  • a limit on practice designed to prevent the circumstances reoccurring.

The agreement will remain in place for a minimum of three years of continuous nursing practice, the decision said.

In a decision released Nov. 21, a college inquiry committee said a second nurse was identified as diverting narcotics from the workplace. They also engaged a client "in an effort to obscure diversion activities" and were found to be impaired at work.

That nurse provided an independent medical assessment documenting a health concern to the college related to the misconduct.

“The independent medical assessment identified the registrant is fit to practice nursing, and they provided information regarding compliance with treatment recommendations,” the public memo said.

Under a consent agreement, set to last four years, the college and nurse agreed on:

  • a reprimand;
  • regular reports from treating physicians regarding compliance with treatment recommendations;
  • disclosure of treatment recommendations to relevant employer representatives and;
  • a limit on narcotics access and handling designed to prevent the risk of reoccurring circumstances.

In both cases, the nurses’ names were withheld so as not to release personal health information.

The college is one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four distinct professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery. 

Similar legislation in other self-regulated areas such as the legal and notary public professions also allows citizens to know about discipline issues in the public interest.

“The inquiry committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” both decisions said.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

twitter.com/jhainswo

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