Registered nurse reprimanded for professional misconduct concerning medication

26 Jun 2017

A registered nurse has been reprimanded and had conditions imposed on her registration after admitting to engaging in professional misconduct.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) decided to investigate Ms Phyllis Zietsman on 15 March 2016 after receiving information that revealed that she misappropriated a schedule 4 medicine from her place of employment at Nickol Bay Hospital in Stove Hill, Western Australia.

The NMBA reasonably believed that Ms Zietsman behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and referred the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal).

During the course of the tribunal proceedings, Ms Zietsman admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct in that, on 7 March 2016, she attended the hospital while not on duty and took a full box of a schedule 4 medicine for her own use, without permission from the hospital and without holding a valid prescription for that medication.

The tribunal took into consideration Ms Zietsman’s cooperation in the investigation in respect of her conduct and that she has otherwise had an unblemished record as a registered nurse. Prior to formal mediation, she made concessions in respect of her offending conduct and potential sanctions, expressing remorse for her conduct and willingness to undertake further education.

On 29 May 2017, the tribunal ordered by agreement that Ms Zietsman be reprimanded and that conditions be imposed on her registration. The conditions require her to complete a program of education in relation to legal and ethical obligations surrounding access to medication for a registered nurse.

The tribunal also ordered by agreement that Ms Zietsman pay a contribution of $1,500 towards the NMBA cost of the proceedings. The decision is published on the tribunal’s website.

Page reviewed 26/06/2017