27 Jul 2016
A tribunal has reprimanded a nurse and disqualified her from applying for registration for three years.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Ms Roos to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for professional misconduct. Between January 2010 and March 2011, while Director of Nursing at Nanango Hospital, Ms Roos used a local taxi service on 15 occasions at the expense of Queensland Health, without authority to do so. Ms Roos claimed that she believed she had verbal authority from her line manager to use the taxis. However, in the course of the police investigation the manager denied giving such authority indicating it was limited to late night call outs when she felt unsafe.
Ms Roos had previously been convicted on 22 March 2001 of three counts of stealing and four counts of dishonestly obtaining property while employed as a nurse at Nambour General Hospital. In 2002, Ms Roos undertook that she would attend, at her own expense, a psychiatrist or a psychologist at least twice per month for a period of six months. In July 2003 she was found by the professional committee to have been in breach of that undertaking because she had not attended counselling at the frequency required.
In making its decision, the Tribunal stated that it took into account the mitigating factors raised by Ms Roos including that there had been 12 years between the first series of offences and the second and further explanations relating to a very difficult divorce and mental and financial strain. The Tribunal considered that the sanction proposed by the NMBA to disqualify Ms Roos from registration for three years was consistent with the level of current disciplinary orders in the nursing profession.
The Tribunal reprimanded Ms Roos and disqualified her from applying for registration for a period of three years and ordered that she pay the NMBA’s costs.
The decision is published on AustLii.