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B.C. nurse disciplined for 'deficient' skills over seven-year period

The nurse is prohibited for one year from working in critical care, supervising others and being the sole registered nurse on duty.
Nurses in B.C. are regulated by the College of Nurses and Midwives.

B.C.’s College of Nurses and Midwives has disciplined a Richmond nurse, citing deficient skills in four areas of her practice between March 2016 and February 2023.

In a newly released May 17 public notice, a college inquiry committee panel said Penelope Thornhill has deficient knowledge and skills in the areas of responsibility and accountability, patient assessment, critical thinking, organization and prioritization, documentation, medication administration, wound care, central line care and sterile technique.

The panel said Thornhill voluntarily agreed to complete remedial education in clinical skill consolidation, assessment, pharmacology, psychomotor skills and ethics and professionalism before returning to their nursing practice.

After a return to practice, the panel said, Thornhill will be prohibited for one year from working in a critical care or high acuity setting, supervising or orienting others, being the sole registered nurse on duty, and working autonomously.

“They will complete a robust orientation, develop and implement a learning plan, and undergo a four-month period of supervision in the workplace,” the panel said.

The college is 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.