Tribunal suspends nurse for four months for professional misconduct

19 Jun 2018

A tribunal has suspended a nurse for four months after she admitted to professional misconduct concerning misappropriated drugs.

On 8 September 2017, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Ms Jessica Anne Schouten to the State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) of Western Australia for professional misconduct. The NMBA alleged that:

  • between May and October 2015, Ms Schouten accessed the drug fentanyl from her workplace for her own personal use
  • in December 2015, Ms Schouten gave false information to the NMBA by denying she had accessed drugs from her workplace, and
  • in January 2016, Ms Schouten gave false information to the health assessor appointed by the NMBA, by denying any fentanyl use.

At mediation on 21 March 2018, the NMBA and Ms Schouten agreed the terms on which the matter could be settled. Ms Schouten admitted to the conduct and was remorseful. She submitted by way of mitigation that she suffered from medical conditions and at the time was acting in a new role and was struggling with a perceived lack of guidance and emotional and psychological support from her superiors. She had not practised since 23 October 2015 and has received treatment for her medical conditions. 

The tribunal agreed to the terms of the settlement. The tribunal reprimanded Ms Schouten and suspended her registration for four months. It also imposed conditions on her registration and required her to pay a contribution of $4,000 towards the NMBA’s costs.

The tribunal’s decision will be published on the tribunal website.

Page reviewed 19/06/2018