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Ms. MacLean is reprimanded for her professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming.
For as long as she holds a license to practice nursing, Ms. MacLean will be restricted from practicing nursing in a correctional or forensic setting, or an addictions setting.
Decisions and Outcomes
Condition or restriction, Reprimand, Suspension
October 11, 2016
Restriction on License
Condition on Licence
Eastern Passage, NS
On October 11, 2016, the Professional Conduct Committee of the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) met to consider a settlement proposal agreed upon by Kathy Denise Maclean and CRNNS and recommended for acceptance by the Complaints Committee of the CRNNS.
Ms. Maclean has been a registered nurse since 1994. Since approximately 2002, she was employed at a correctional facility. In December of 2012, Ms. Maclean's employer complained to CRNNS, alleging Ms. Maclean engaged in an intimate and personal relationship with a client and that she brought contraband items into the correctional facility.
As a result of the complaint and the CRNNS' subsequent investigation, the Complaints Committee imposed an interim suspension on her license, effective March 8, 2013. The Complaints Committee later decided to refer the allegations of professional misconduct and/or conduct unbecoming to the Professional Conduct Committee. They also continued the interim suspension of her license.
CRNNS and Ms. Maclean entered into a settlement proposal in which Ms. Maclean admitted the following allegations:
- She engaged in professional misconduct by engaging in a personal, romantic and/or intimate relationship with an offender and client, thereby breaching professional boundaries;
- She engaged in conduct unbecoming and failed to demonstrate behaviour that upholds the public trust in the profession by trafficking steroids and/or their derivatives into a correctional facility between July 31, 2012 and November 1, 2012, such actions resulting in a criminal conviction for trafficking in controlled substances and breach of trust.
- She engaged in professional misconduct by breaching her employer's policies by:
- Facilitating communication between an inmate and third parties; and
- Communicating details of an upcoming offsite medical appointment to an inmate.
Ms. Maclean admitted that the allegations amounted to professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming as defined in the Registered Nurses Act. Ms. Maclean agreed to the following licensing sanctions:
- A reprimand;
- That her interim suspension be replaced with a 12 month suspension, effective January 1, 2016, ending December 31, 2016;
- A requirement that she successfully complete an educational course on professional boundaries within six months of October 11, 2016; and
- That she be restricted from working in a correctional or forensic setting, or an addictions setting,for as long as she holds a license to practice nursing.
In the settlement proposal, Ms. Maclean also agreed that for the five-year period following her return to nursing practice, CRNNS will provide a copy of the settlement proposal and related decision of the Professional Conduct Committee to all of her employers.
Ms. Maclean also agreed to pay a contribution towards CRNNS' costs in the amount of $2,000, inclusive of HST, payable within 24 months following her return to nursing practice.
The settlement proposal was recommended by the Complaints Committee and referred to the Professional Conduct Committee in accordance with Section 61 of the Regulations under the Registered Nurses Act.
In a meeting on October 11, 2016, the Professional Conduct Committee considered: the Notice of Hearing issued by CRNNS; the settlement proposal filed by the parties; and the verbal submissions of CRNNS and Ms. Maclean. The Professional Conduct Committee accepted the settlement proposal of the parties. In accepting the proposal, the Professional Conduct Committee found that Ms. Maclean committed professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming, and ordered the licensing sanctions described above.
In accepting the settlement proposal, the Professional Conduct Committee was satisfied that the settlement proposal meets the mandate of the College in that it has provided for the protection of the public and would instill confidence of the public in the profession's regulatory process.
Pursuant to Section 42(1) of the Registered Nurses Act, on March 8, 2013 the Complaints Committee ordered an interim suspension of Kathy Denise MacLean’s licence to practise nursing.