As soon as feasible, after receiving the preliminary investigative report and response (if available), a Complaints Committee will meet to dispose of the complaint. Unless the complaint is dismissed in accordance with Section 58(1)(a) of the RN Regulations or informally resolved, the Complaints Committee shall provide the complainant and respondent the opportunity to appear before the Committee to make representations and answer any questions the Committee may have. When this opportunity is provided, the usual practice is for the complainant to appear before the Committee first. When the complainant leaves, the respondent is then seen by the Committee. The complainant and respondent are not in the room with the Committee at the same time. The Committee usually requires approximately an hour for meeting with the complainant and another hour for meeting with the respondent. On occasion other persons may atttend before the Complaints Committee.
After reviewing all information it has received, the Complaints Committee can:
A Complaints Committee can dismiss a complaint. If a complaint is dismissed, there will be no further action on this file.
A Complaints Committee may informally resolve a complaint. An informal resolution may be considered in cases where all interested parties, the complainant, the respondent, the CRNNS and the Complaints Committee believe addressing the complaint through such a resolution is appropriate. Any one of the interested parties can approach the other parties to suggest such a resolution.
A Complaints Committee may issue a counsel, a caution, or both. A counsel and a caution are not considered disciplinary findings. A counsel is a determination that the respondent could benefit from professional guidance from CRNNS with regard to the subject matter of the complaint in circumstances that do not constitute professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity. A caution is a finding that the respondent has breached the standards of professional ethics or practice expected of registrants, but in circumstances where such breach does not constitute professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity.
A Complaints Committee may refer allegations to a Professional Conduct Committee for a formal hearing if it is determined that the allegations could amount to professional misconduct, incompetence, incapacity or conduct unbecoming the profession.
Should the Complaints Committee wish to issue a reprimand and/or impose conditions and/or restrictions on a licence, the respondent will be asked to consent to that disposition. A reprimand and conditions and restrictions are considered disciplinary findings and, at this stage in the professional conduct process, require the consent of the respondent. Should a respondent consent to any or all of these dispositions, that disposition is considered the same as one issued by a Professional Conduct Committee following a formal hearing and becomes part of the respondent's permanent record at CRNNS. Should the respondent not consent to a reprimand and/or the imposition of conditions and/or restrictions on their licence, the matter would be forwarded to a Professional Conduct Committee for a formal hearing.
A Complaints Committee can mandate a respondent to submit to physical, mental, addiction and/or practice assessments by qualified individuals and to provide to the Complaints Committee reports from such assessments. Failure to comply with a request for an assessment of this kind could result in the Complaints Committee suspending the respondent's license to practice nursing until such time as the requested records are produced.
A Complaints Committee can direct the executive director to suspend, or impose conditions and/or restrictions on, a license to practice at any time throughout the investigative process and until such time as a Complaints Committee or a Professional Conduct Committee directs otherwise. This is done in cases where the Complaints Committee has concerns with respect to safety to practice.