Lawyers for Nurses

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We are lawyers for nurses and have extensive experience defending Registered Nurses (“RNs”), Registered Practical Nurses (“RPNs”), and Nurse Practitioners (“NPs”) facing regulatory issues at the College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”).

How We Assist Nurses

Our team of defence lawyers for nurses works with RNs, RPNs, and NPs on matters such as:

  • Responding to various inquiries at the College of Nurses of Ontario, including drafting responses to patient complaints, which are reviewed by the CNO’s Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee (“ICRC”);
  • Defending nurses at CNO discipline hearings;
  • Assisting nurses in CNO registration applications;
  • Representing RNs, RPNs, or NPs in CNO appeals before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (“HPARB”) (e.g. where a decision of the ICRC has been made);
  • Advising RNs, RPNs, or NPs on issues related to the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Nursing Act, 1991;
  • Assisting with CNO fitness to practice matters;
  • Reporting past history, including criminal charges and findings of guilt, to the College of Nurses of Ontario; and
  • Advising RNs, RPNs or NPs on other practice issues that may arise, including employment and contractual issues, working with unregulated health care workers, entry-to-practice competencies, and confidentiality and privacy issues.

Articles

Responding to Complaints at the College of Nurses of Ontario: What Nurses Need to Know

A formal complaint at the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) may put a Registered Nurse (RN), Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), or Nurse Practitioner (NP) in a challenging position. With its potential for professional consequences, the complaint process is stressful enough on its own, and nurses who are unfamiliar with the process may experience even more pressure. In light of these difficulties, and based on our experience, we have prepared this introductory guide for nurses responding to complaints at the CNO. 

Reviewing Decisions of the College of Nurses of Ontario at the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB)

The Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee (“ICRC”) of the College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”) is responsible for dealing with formal complaints against nurses. While the process may end with the ICRC’s decision, nurses and complainants may both request a review before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (“HPARB”). Based on our experience at HPARB proceedings, here is a brief overview of the review process.

Responding to Section 75 Investigations at the CNO

We often assist nurses with a variety of matters at the College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”). This includes responding to formal investigations under subsections 75(1)(a), (b), and (c) of the Health Professions Procedural Code (“HPPC”).

Resolving Complaints to the College of Nurses of Ontario through ADR

There is good news in cases were the CNO offers you a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): you will have the opportunity to potentially resolve the complaint without a formal investigation into your nursing practice. ADR is a voluntary and confidential alternative to the formal complaints process conducted by the CNO’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). 

What is Published on the Public Register of the College of Nurses of Ontario?

We often assist nurses who have inquiries regarding the College of Nurses of Ontario’s (“CNO”) public register. Upon receiving a complaint to the CNO, nurses should be aware that the process has the potential to result in the publication of a notation that is critical of their professional care. In this article, we will review some of the most relevant information regarding the public register. 

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