Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Nurse reprimanded for falsifying signatures and incorrectly administering medication
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Nurse reprimanded for falsifying signatures and incorrectly administering medication

13 Jun 2024

A tribunal has reprimanded an enrolled nurse for forging the signature of a colleague on 121 occasions and failing to administer and document an appropriate dose of a Schedule 4 medicine to a patient.

Between 3 November 2017 and 7 April 2018, Ms Susan Fear falsified a colleague’s signature on 36 individual PRN medication tracking forms. The forms were used to ensure that medications were correctly identified, and the stocks of each medication were accurately recorded.

In a separate allegation, Ms Fear misled a colleague by informing them that she had administered a medicine to a resident when she had not. She also inappropriately administered the same medicine to the same resident and failed to make a record of it on their drug chart.

On 30 March 2021, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Ms Fear to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) where, in her submissions, Ms Fear noted her frustration with administrative tasks as well as the attitudes of other staff towards those tasks.

In considering the conduct before them, the tribunal accepted that Ms Fear was trying to improve the resident’s circumstances. However, that conduct fell well short of the standards required to be met when practising as a nurse. The tribunal concluded Ms Fear ought to have raised her concerns about resident care and administrative matters with her managers rather than crafting her own solutions.

The tribunal also accepted an expert opinion that Ms Fear’s actions were a ‘substantial departure from standards to claim to have administered medication when that had not been done’.

On 11 January 2023, the tribunal found that Ms Fear had engaged in professional misconduct and considered it appropriate to reprimand her.

The fact that Ms Fear let her registration lapse in May 2018 and outlined she had no intention of providing any form of care again meant that there was no need for any other determination in the case.

The tribunal found it appropriate to reprimand Ms Fear in order to admonish her conduct. The tribunal’s decision was made on 11 January 2023 and is published on the Austlii website.

Page reviewed 13/06/2024