A former enrolled nurse in Queensland has been fined $8,000 for working in an aged care facility after his registration had lapsed.
David Drawwater’s registration lapsed on 1 July 2019 after he failed to renew it. Despite being unregistered, he continued to work as an enrolled nurse at an aged care facility until his employment was terminated in November 2019 for unrelated reasons. During this time, he performed 35 shifts where he worked in a unit predominantly by himself at night and had the primary responsibility for up to 33 residents.
He was subsequently charged by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) with one charge of holding out to be a nurse with a current registration. He failed to appear in court, and was thus convicted of the charge by the Magistrate’s Court of Queensland.
In delivering his judgment, the Acting Magistrate noted that the former nurse’s conduct involved a‘”serious breach of trust of the vulnerable people”
“[Nurses are] trusted professionals and they are strictly regulated for a reason,” he noted.
Ahpra CEO, Mr Martin Fletcher, said that “all registered health practitioners have a professional obligation to keep their registration up to date. Registration renewal safeguards patients and the public because practitioners must confirm they meet specific requirements to ensure they continue to be safe and competent to practice”.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association provides legal and professional support for nurses and midwives who may have issues with their registration. You can join the Association here.