Duty of Members to Report
Section 65(1) of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act sets out, in law, the duty of RPNs to report if they “believe that another member is suffering from a physical or mental condition or disorder of a nature or to an extent that the member is unfit to continue to practice or that the member’s practice should be restricted.” The law says that the RPN is to inform the CRPNM Executive Director of the belief and the reasons for it. RPNs are not subject to any liability for making the report if it was made in good faith.
There may also be times when a Registered Psychiatric Nurse is concerned about the practice or conduct of another Registered Psychiatric Nurse. The first course of action in these cases might be to talk to the other RPN directly or to talk to your employer. These concerns may also be reported to the CRPNM.
If you are an RPN and would like to discuss an issue or if you are unsure if you should report an issue to the College, please call the CRPNM Executive Director or Practice Consultant to assist you.
If a Complaint is Filed Against You
The CRPNM must review all written complaints made against its members. You will be informed if a complaint is made about you. You will receive a copy of the complaint. Only special circumstances would prevent this from happening.
You will be asked to respond to the complaint, in writing. Document everything that you remember about the incident(s). Do not speak to the complainant about the matter. Do not speak to any potential witnesses about the matter. Trying to influence the complainant or any potential witnesses could be construed as professional misconduct.
The CRPNM does not usually involve legal counsel at this stage. If you are called to an interview by the Investigation Committee, you may bring someone with you. Some members bring a friend, a union representative or their lawyer. The Committee will want to hear from you rather than from a representative but you are welcome to bring someone to support you.
The Investigation Committee will decide how to address the issue based on the options they have under section 23(1) of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act. Once the decision is made, you will be informed of the Committee’s decision in writing. The complainant is also informed of the decision.