Tribunal reprimands nurse for professional misconduct

03 Jan 2020

A tribunal has reprimanded a registered nurse and placed conditions on his registration after he made inappropriate comments to two graduate nurses under his supervision.

Between January 2018 and May 2018, Mr Veljko Lakicevic made repeated inappropriate and sexualised comments to two graduate nurses who were under his supervision at the hospital where he worked.

More specifically, Mr Lakicevic:

  • repeatedly asked personal questions of each of the graduate nurses, including whether either of them had a boyfriend
  • made comments about the appearance of one of the graduate nurses
  • asked one of the graduate nurses to dance, and
  • asked each of the graduate nurses if they would drive him home.

Mr Lakicevic’s behaviour caused the women psychological distress and his employment at the hospital was subsequently terminated.

In August 2018, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia took immediate action to suspend Mr Lakicevic’s registration and on 21 March 2019 referred him to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal).

On 2 January 2020, the tribunal found that Mr Lakicevic had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and imposed a reprimand and conditions on his registration which:

  • require Mr Lakicevic to undertake further education in relation to maintaining professional relationships and issues of sexual harassment
  • require him to be mentored in relation to maintaining professional relationships and issues of sexual harassment, and
  • preclude him from formally supervising graduate nurses.

The tribunal determined not to impose any further suspension period, taking into account that Mr Lakicevic had already been suspended for over 16 months at the time of the decision.

The decision is available on the Austlii website.

Please note: Due to an administrative delay, this news item was published on 28 September 2020.

Page reviewed 3/01/2020