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Monika Di Ruscio, JH708044
The Member was alleged to have engaged in professional misconduct by holding herself out to patients and her employer as a nurse, indicating in patient records that she was a nurse and practicing nursing all while her certificate of registration was suspended. The Member was also alleged to have used a name other than her name on the College of Nurses of Ontario’s (“CNO”) register and to have asked for and taken saline syringes from a patient.
The Member did not attend the hearing, nor was she represented by legal counsel. The hearing proceeded in her absence.
The Panel found the Member committed some of the alleged misconduct, and in particular, the following:
- falsifying records relating to her practice;
- inappropriately using a term, title or designation in respect of her practice;
- using a name other than her name, as set out in the register, in the course of providing or offering to provide services within the scope of practice of the profession;
- contravening a term, condition or limitation on her certificate of registration by practicing nursing when her certificate of registration was suspended;
- contravening a provision of the Nursing Act, 1991, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 or the regulations under either of those Acts by using the title “nurse” and/or “registered practical nurse” and holding herself out as a nurse while her certificate of registration was suspended; and
- engaging in conduct relevant to the practice of nursing, that, having regard to all the circumstances would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.
The Panel made an order that included the following:
- an oral reprimand;
- a 12-month suspension;
- terms, conditions and limitations, including:
- attending 2 meetings with a Regulatory Expert;
- employer notification for 18 months; and
- no independent practice for 18 months.
Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the seriousness of the conduct;
- the use of a name different than that posted on the CNO register leads to both patients and employers having difficulty obtaining information on practice restrictions;
- the conduct was repeated over a month and had the patient and patient’s husband not been suspicious, the conduct would not have been found;
- the conduct was a breach of trust and was dishonest;
- the conduct was for personal gain and to the detriment of a vulnerable patient;
- there was potential for significant harm to the patient;
- the actions of the Member shook the patient’s husband’s trust in nurses and brought discredit to the profession.
Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:
- the Member has no prior disciplinary record with CNO; and
- the Member’s personal circumstances in that the Member is currently suspended as a result of an Order by the Fitness to Practise Committee made in December 2018.