Ann Marie Desrosiers 9403494
Allegations and Plea
The College alleged that the Member failed to cooperate with the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC), failed to carry out an agreement regarding the alternative dispute resolution of a complaint, prescribed controlled substances for five clients when she was not authorized to do so, and falsified prescriptions. The College also alleged that this conduct would be regarded as dishonourable, disgraceful or unprofessional.
The Member admitted to the allegations, and the College and the Member jointly submitted an agreement to the following facts.
In March 2011, the Member was randomly selected to participate in a practice assessment as part of the Quality Assurance (QA) Program. She was notified in a letter dated March 25 and given until April 19 to confirm her participation online and until May 10 to complete certain tasks. She failed to respond and the deadline was extended until September 2, 2011. She again failed to respond and was informed in November 2011 that her failure to complete the QA program had been reported to the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). She still did not comply with her QA obligations.
NPs are authorized to prescribe certain drugs. Effective October 1, 2011, NPs were expressly prohibited from prescribing a controlled substance.
The Member prescribed four controlled substances – Concerta, Hydromorph Contin, Lorazepam and Percocet – to five clients between August 2011 and December 2012. On several occasions, she did not perform internal consults with a physician and co-signed a physician’s name on the prescription without the physician’s knowledge or without using “per”. One of the physicians whose name was on a prescription confirmed that he had not been consulted prior to the prescription being written.
In 2011, a member of the public complained to the College about the Member’s conduct. The Member, the complainant and the College agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process to resolve the matter. The Member signed a Resolution Agreement in which she agreed to complete three online learning modules regarding standards and to complete written reflections. The Member failed to complete the terms of the Agreement within 30 days, as required. She also failed to respond to letters and telephone calls from the College reminding her of the deadline. The College attempted multiple follow-ups. The Member was given a second extended deadline; however, she did not complete her obligations under the Agreement.
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. It demonstrated a serious and persistent disregard for her professional obligations, as well as an element of dishonesty and deceit. The Panel noted that the conduct approached the boundaries of disgraceful.
Submissions on Order
The College sought an oral reprimand and a nine-month suspension. The Member would be required to complete specified remediation activities in preparation for a series of meetings with a nursing expert, and would be required to provide proof of participation in the next available practice assessment of the QA program. For 18 months after the suspension ends, 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 joint submission as reasonable and in the public interest. The Member accepted responsibility for her actions and cooperated with the College by agreeing to the facts and proposed penalty. The penalty satisfies the principles of specific and general deterrence, rehabilitation and remediation, and protection of the public interest.