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B.C. nurse disciplined for being impaired at work

The unnamed nurse agreed to monitoring to provide evidence of substance use abstinence should it occur.
Nurses in B.C. are regulated by the College of Nurses and Midwives.

The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives has disciplined a nurse for drinking on duty and working while impaired.

On July 2, a college inquiry committee panel approved an agreement with the unnamed nurse to deal with an Aug. 9, 2023, incident where they had been impaired while practicing.

“The registrant was diagnosed with, and admitted to a disability, with a causal relationship to the practice issues via an independent medical report,” a public notice said.

The college routinely withholds names when the discipline is related to a medical condition to protect the individual’s privacy.

The discipline includes the nurse having to:

• enrol in a medical monitoring agreement to provide evidence of substance use abstinence; 

• having a suspension of their nursing registration for three days; and,

• have a limit prohibiting them from working overtime, acting as the nurse-in-charge, having supervision over students or being in charge of orienting new staff for a term. 

The college is currently one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four distinct professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery. 

Similar legislation in other self-regulated areas such as the legal and notary public professions also allows citizens to know about discipline issues in the public interest.

“The inquiry committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” the college said.