Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Tribunal reprimands nurse for his inappropriate sexualised comments to junior nurses
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Tribunal reprimands nurse for his inappropriate sexualised comments to junior nurses

02 Nov 2023

A nurse who sent inappropriate sexualised and/or intimidating and exploitative communications to two junior nurse colleagues has been reprimanded and had conditions imposed on his registration. 

Content warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please visit the NM Support website or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help.

Between December 2019 and March 2020, Mr Brendan Rees sent several communications to two junior nursing colleagues about how he had helped get them permanent or extended contracts at their place of employment. Within these messages, Mr Rees made references to being owed sexual favours or bullied the appearance of the junior nurses. As a result of his conduct, the nurses were scared, intimidated and anxious about attending work.

On 16 June 2020, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) received a notification from Mr Rees’ employer regarding his conduct. The NMBA suspended his registration under its immediate action powers in July 2020 and following further investigation referred Mr Rees to the State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal). 

The tribunal found that Mr Rees had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and ordered that he: 

  • be reprimanded,
  • have conditions imposed on his registration including education in relation to maintaining professional boundaries and ethical practice, and
  • pay a contribution of $2,000 towards the NMBA’s costs of the proceedings.

The immediate action suspension ended when the tribunal made its final orders on 26 June 2023. Mr Rees was suspended for approximately three years under immediate action and this period of suspension was taken into account when the final orders were made. 

The tribunal’s decision was made on 26 June 2023 and is available on the eCourts Portal of Western Australia.  

Page reviewed 2/11/2023