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Naomi Cornelius HA02535
Allegations and Plea
The College alleged that the Member failed to complete a remedial program as directed by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), and that this conduct would be regarded as dishonourable, disgraceful or unprofessional.
The Member was neither present nor represented by counsel at the hearing. The hearing proceeded on the basis that the Member denied the allegations.
The Panel heard from two witnesses and received thirteen exhibits.
College staff testified that the Member was sent a copy of the ICRC Decision by regular mail. The Decision, dated January 17, 2011, required the Member to complete a remedial program and attend for an oral caution. The College sent a second letter, on February 9, 2011, to notify the Member of the scheduled date of the oral caution. The College sent a letter on April 14, 2011, including instructions on completing the remedial program. The program required the Member to meet with an expert and review specified standards. The College sent a letter on April 29, 2011, notifying the Member that the oral caution would not proceed as scheduled because the Member had not yet completed the remedial program.
A telephone summary sheet indicated that the Member left a voicemail message at the College on April 21, 2011, confirming that she had received the letter dated April 14, 2011, and that completion of her remedial program was past due. The Member said she did not receive the original package, and that she had a friend who would help her to complete the required activities over the weekend.
The Member did not complete the activities and the College followed up by sending her a letter indicating that it had not received a written request for an extension and that completion of the remedial program was overdue.
The Panel’s independent legal counsel suggested that because legislation indicates that the Panel may “require” a Member to complete a remedial program, it was reasonable to infer that failure to complete it as required must have a consequence.
The Panel found that the evidence supported findings of professional misconduct as alleged, and that the Member’s conduct would be regarded as dishonourable and unprofessional. The Member repeatedly chose not to comply with the ICRC order.
Submissions on Order
The College sought an oral reprimand and a four-month suspension. The Member would be required to complete specified remediation activities in preparation for meeting with a nursing expert. For 12 months after the Member obtains her General Class certificate, the Member would be required to advise the College of her employers, provide employers with a copy of the Panel’s decision and reasons, and only practise for an employer who agreed to advise the College if the Member breached the standards of practice of the profession.
The Panel accepted the College’s submission. The penalty satisfies the principles of specific and general deterrence, rehabilitation and remediation, and protection of the public interest. The close proximity of the previous Discipline order and the ICRC order, the persistent nature of the Member’s disregard for the ICRC order, and the prior Discipline matter involving dishonest behaviour were all aggravating factors. The Panel identified no mitigating factors.