Professional Conduct Review Release/Publication of Information Policy

Background

The Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island (ARNPEI) receives its authority to conduct the professional conduct review process in relation to allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity from the Registered Nurses Act. The Act gives authority for the appointment of a Professional Conduct Review (PCR) Committee to investigate and deal with complaints against nurse members.

Purpose

There is a need to inform the public and members of the health community of instances of professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity, involving registered nurses.  Information about decisions related to professional conduct hearings will be posted on the ARNPEI website.  Employers will be notified of the PCR Committee decisions and publication may be included in the newspaper.

Policy

Website: Any decision to revoke, suspend or place conditions on a nursing license will be posted on the ARNPEI website, and the posting will identify the nurse by full name (including any name used in the course of nursing practice) and ARNPEI registration number.  Additional information may be posted on the website, as determined by the Professional Conduct Review committee.  In cases of incapacity, the decision ordered by the PCR Committee will not reference the specific illness.  General statements will be used to describe the nature of the offence and the conditions/treatment/penalty (if applicable) determined by the PCR Committee. The PCR Committee will determine on a case-by-case basis if a reprimand should be posted on the website. Any reinstatement of a license will be posted on the website. Posted decisions will be organized by calendar year, listed by the date of the decision rather than the date of the offence.

Annual Report: The information published in the Annual Report will be a statistical report only.

Employers: A letter will be sent to each employer on Prince Edward Island from ARNPEI containing the same information that is posted on the website. However, it is ultimately the employer’s responsibility to ensure if a Registered Nurse is in good standing, by contacting the ARNPEI office.

Disclosure: Information on Professional Conduct Review cases will only be disclosed to the appropriate party upon completion of the case. The information will be shared only upon the signing of a “release of information” form; the form must be signed by the member at the ARNPEI offices. The Professional Conduct Review committee will determine what information is to be released.

Publication: The PCR Committee may recommend to Council that a notice of the decision be published in the newspaper.  By publishing a PCR decision, ARNPEI educates nurses and informs the public about what does and does not constitute professional misconduct and incompetence.  It also provides direction to nurses on practice standards and professional behaviour if RNs find themselves in similar situations and increases the transparency of the PCR process and builds public confidence in self-regulation.

 Reference: Registered Nurses Act, Section 24