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Wanda Elaine Pankhurst
The College received an application for reinstatement from the Former Member, whose certificate of registration was revoked by the Discipline Committee on March 18, 2009. The Former Member admitted, and the Discipline Committee found, that she had committed professional misconduct by engaging in a personal and sexual relationship with a client. The Former Member also agreed that revocation was the appropriate order.
The College and the Former Member jointly submitted an agreement to the following facts.
Since the revocation, but prior to the Former Member’s application for reinstatement, she completed education and training in the field of pharmacy, including the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ jurisprudence exam and the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada’s Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination. She also completed an ethics and professionalism course, as well as the College’s jurisprudence exam.
An independent medical evaluation indicated that the Former Member was at low risk of committing professional misconduct involving sexual abuse of a client and that the risk could be sufficiently mitigated with restrictions on her nursing practice.
Submissions on Order
The College and the Former Member jointly submitted that she be issued a certificate of registration with terms, conditions and limitations. These terms, conditions and limitations include completing remedial courses, obtaining clinical/practical/consolidation experience, and completing specified remediation activities in preparation for a series of meetings with a nursing expert.
When the Former Member returns to the practice of nursing, she would be required to advise the College of her employers and provide her employers with a copy of the Panel’s decision and reasons. The Member could only practise for an employer who agrees to advise the College if the Member breaches the standards of practice of the profession. The Member could not practise independently in the community and could only engage in the practice of nursing in a setting where another regulated healthcare practitioner is available to monitor her practice. These conditions would remain in force for at least the first five years that the Member is employed as a nurse after the date of the order.
The Panel accepted the joint submission on order.
Reasons for Decision
The Former Member bore the onus of proving that the public would be protected if she was reinstated as a member of the College. The Panel relied on the independent medical evaluation, which indicated that the Former Member was at a low risk to repeat the misconduct that had resulted in her original revocation, with the caveat of specific terms, conditions and limitations.
The Panel supported the reinstatement, contingent upon the jointly proposed terms, conditions and limitations, which ensured that the Former Member would not re-enter the practising class prior to demonstrating current competence and that, once practising, she would be suitably monitored for at least five years. The Panel noted that the public would be suitably protected and public confidence in self-regulation would be maintained.