Registration and Licensure Details

The following may be helpful when reviewing information on this page

Registration Number:
30457
Given Name(s):
KAREN MARCELLA MARIE
Last Name(s):
SNIDER
Register:
Registered Nurses
Category of Licence:
Registered Nurse - Practising
Active Date:
November 01, 2021
Expiry Date:
October 31, 2022

Decisions and Outcomes

Decision Outcomes:
Revocation
Date:
June 08, 2020

On May 25, 2020, the Professional Conduct Committee of the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (the “College”) convened to consider an application for consent revocation of her Nurse Practitioner’s licence from Karen Snider, RN, NP No. 30457. The Chief Executive Officer of NSCN consented to the application for consent revocation. On June 8, 2020, the Professional Conduct Committee granted approval of the application for consent revocation.

The decision issued by the Professional Conduct Committee results in a revocation of Ms. Snider's license as a nurse practitioner (“NP”). She remains licensed as a registered nurse (“RN”), without any conditions on her RN licence.

Background

Following graduation with her Diploma in Nursing in 1993, Ms. Snider worked for several years as a RN in both Nunavut and Ontario.

She was initially registered as an RN with the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (the predecessor to the Nova Scotia College of Nursing) in June, 2002.

She completed her NP education with a family/all ages focus at the Dalhousie University in 2003. Her NP licence was "grand parented" as she completed her NP education prior to the NP examination requirements for licensure. She became licensed as a NP in Nova Scotia in 2003. She also practiced as a NP in Nunavut, Ontario and British Columbia.

During her period of employment as a NP at a military base in Nova Scotia from 2011 to August, 2014, a number of concerns arose with respect to Ms. Snider's practice as an NP. Letters of complaint were filed with the College documenting a series of alleged incidents. A lengthy investigation ensued, in which Ms. Snider generally denied the allegations.

During the investigative process, Ms. Snider signed a voluntary undertaking in August 2014, where she agreed not to practice as a NP until further consideration by a College Committee. She continued to practice in the capacity of a registered nurse.

During the investigation Ms. Snider agreed to participate in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination ("OSCE"), family stream, to test NP entry-level competencies. Ms. Snider was unsuccessful in passing the examination. Ms. Snider had previously attempted the OSCE on two occasions in 2008 and was also unsuccessful in those attempts. The College had not been advised of these two failed attempts at the time Ms. Snider was referred to complete the OSCE in 2014.

In March 2016 the Complaints Committee issued an interim suspension of Ms. Snider's NP licence.

Exploration of a resolution of this matter has been ongoing throughout the investigative process. The College was concerned about the global nature of the deficiencies identified in the allegations, as demonstrated in the failure to pass the OSCE. The College was particularly concerned about the failure of the OSCE, as the OSCE was intended to assess entry-level knowledge, skills and abilities essential for nurse practitioners. The College sought a resolution that would protect the public by ensuring Ms. Snider was not authorized to engage in the practice of a NP without fully and successfully completing the full NP education program and examination. It believed that objective could be achieved by Ms. Snider agreeing to a revocation of her NP licence, and by indicating that if she does apply for reinstatement of her licence, the College would take the position that she must successfully complete the full NP program for the nurse practitioner designation, including the required examinations.

Ms. Snider ultimately agreed to apply for the revocation of her NP licence, and the College’s Chief Executive Officer consented to it. In so doing, Ms. Snider did not contest, but did not admit the following allegations:

She:

  1. Inappropriately and inadequately assessed and diagnosed patients;
  2. Failed to carry out relevant investigations;
  3. Failed to refer or collaborate with a physician regarding relevant cases;
  4. Failed to order appropriate test and scans and examinations;
  5. Failed to record vital signs;
  6. Failed to document differential diagnoses;
  7. Failed to ensure timely referrals; and
  8. Prescribed an incorrect dosage of medication.

As required by the regulations under the Nursing Act, the application for consent revocation was presented to the College’s Professional Conduct Committee for consideration.

Decision of the Professional Conduct Committee

After reviewing the Application for Consent Revocation from Ms. Snider, agreed upon by the Chief Executive Officer of the College, the Professional Conduct Committee heard submissions from legal counsel for the College, Marjorie Hickey, Q.C., and from legal counsel for Ms. Snider, Karen Bennett-Clayton. Ms. Snider attended the meeting of the Committee through a teleconference.

After hearing the submissions of legal counsel and reviewing the application for consent revocation, the Professional Conduct Committee acknowledged that Ms. Snider did not dispute nor did she admit the allegations against her. The Committee noted that Ms. Snider has not practiced as a nurse practitioner since August, 2014.

In granting the application for consent revocation, the Committee noted that the objects of the College are to serve and protect the public interest in the practice of the profession, to preserve the integrity of the profession and to maintain the public’s and registrants' confidence in the ability of the College to regulate the profession. The Committee noted that in the case of Ms. Snider there were global deficiencies identified in her practice as a nurse practitioner that could not be remediated in a way that would make her competent to practice as a nurse practitioner. Her agreement to revoke her licence as a nurse practitioner ensures the public is protected as she is not permitted to engage in that scope of practice. She is able to continue to practice as a registered nurse where no complaints about her competence have been filed with the College with respect her performance in that role. By permitting a nurse to practice within the scope of her competence, the public gains confidence in the College's ability to regulate the profession.

As a result, the Professional Conduct Committee of the College accepted the application for consent revocation. It issued its decision to this effect on June 8, 2020.