Participating in Fitness to Practise Process

The Fitness to Practise process is a non-disciplinary process that provides nurses who have a medical, physical, mental or emotional health condition that resulted in them being unable to practice safely, with the opportunity to seek diagnosis and relevant treatment. The goal is for the nurse to return to practice once they are able to provide safe nursing care. 

To ensure public safety, this process is monitored at each step by our team as well as the Fitness to Practise Committee made up of nurses and members of the public. Click here for more information on this committee

How Does the Process Begin?

When we receive a complaint or information about a nurse and the concerns are connected to a medical, physical, or mental or emotional health condition, the Fitness to Practise process may be appropriate. In addition, a nurse may also self-report an incapacity.

How Can I Be Accepted?

In order to be referred to the Fitness to Practise process, one of the following must apply: 

  • We receive a complaint concerning a nurse’s incapacity
  • Concerns are raised about a nurse’s incapacity during the complaints process
  • We receive information about the possible incapacity of a nurse 
  • A nurse self-reports an incapacity

Where one of the above situations applies, the nurse must also meet specific eligibility criteria. The specific criteria will be posted shortly. If you have any questions, contact us. 

Can I Work? 

Public safety is our number one priority. The majority of the time, nurses take time off work to obtain sufficient treatment and maximize their health before returning to practice. In a very small number of cases, where we have reliable information that the public will be safe, nurses may be permitted to continue to work during the fitness to practise process. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any questions, reach out to us at conduct@nscn.ca.  


As an organization, we uphold public trust by being accountable and transparent. One of the ways we do this is by sharing a general overview of our conduct processes in a way that everyone can understand. Due to the nature of this work however, these processes can be complex and there are ultimately a number of factors that determine the best course of action to promote the public interest. The material presented in this website is general information only, and is not legal advice. If there is any inconsistency between this information and the Nursing Act, regulations and bylaws, the legislation prevails. As a result, it is best to contact a member of our team, your legal counsel or a union representative to ensure you fully understand the information presented on our website and within the Nursing Act, regulations, and bylaws.