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Can BCCNM suspend a nurse without investigation?

Each case is different and asse​​ssed on a case-by-case basis. ​​ Generally, BCCNM cannot suspend a nurse without an investigation. In extraordinary cases, BCCNM can, following a formal legal proceeding,  limit or suspend a nurse's practice during an investigation. This type of action is very serious and reserved for allegations of acute concern – when a nurse's reported conduct or practice poses an imminent and significant ongoing danger to the public.

When applica​​ble, BCCNM tries to work consensually with nurses to establish  voluntary risk mitigation - measures that will protect the public during the investigation period.

Common measu​​res include the nurse agreeing to:

  • Cease practice as a nurse and convert to non-practising status
  • Disclos​e details of the complaint to all current or new employers for the purpose of oversight
  • Limits and /or conditions on the scope or type of nursing practice
  • Enhanced supervision in the workplace
  • Counselling or medical monitoring

If a nurs​​e will not consent to the risk mitigation measures the Inquiry Committee believes are necessary, BCCNM ​​may proceed to seek extraordinary action. See how​ BCCNM​ resolves a complaint and professional conduct review process for more information.​

Am I protected from legal liability if I report another regulated health professional?

The Health Professions Act states no action for damages may be brought against a person for making a report in good faith where the person has a legal ​duty by their regulatory college to report. Nurses in a​ll positions and settings have a legal and ethical duty as outlined in the HPA ​to report incompetent or impaired practice, or unethical conduct of any regulated health professional.

​​​The Duty to Report practice standard​ gives more information and guidance about your legal and professional obligations.​​​​​​​

Can I make an anonymous complaint or report to BCCNM?

Gener​​ally, formal complaints or reports must be in writing and signed. During the Professional Conduct Review process, the reported nurse gets a copy of the complaint including the complainant's name.

If there is an immediate​ concern for public or personal safety, BCCNM may withhold a name or act on an anonymous complaint. More inform​ation about making a complaint.​

I work on a psychiatric unit. My client, a nurse, was admitted for a drug overdose and possible addiction. Should they be reported to BCCNM? If so, should I report them?

Und​er the Health Professions Act, Section 32.3, if a nurse (or any regulated health professio​​nal) is admitted for psychiatric care or treatment, or for treatment for addiction to alcohol or drugs, they must be reported right away to the appropriate regulatory ​college.

It is not the responsib​​​​​ility of the nurse caring for the client to make the report. It is t​he responsibility of the medical practitioner (or chief administrative officer, or someone working in that role) to report in writing to BCCNM.​

What is my responsibility if I see unsafe, unethical or incompetent practice?

You ​have an obligation under the HPA ​to address this type of practice by any regulated ​health pro​fessional. Our resource Taking action on concerns about pr​actice will help you identify and document behaviors of concern and decide what to do.​

Relevant legislation​​