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Nicole Proulx, AD078357

The Member admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct by using her cell phone to video a patient in a behavioural state, take photographs of patients’ feces and a wall where a patient had pulled down wall paneling, and sharing the video and photographs with her co-workers through a social media application. The Member also submitted a job application to an employer with false information.

The Member was found guilty of the following:

  • contravening a standard of practice of the profession or failing to meet the standards of practice of the profession;
  • emotionally abusing a patient;
  • issuing, in her professional capacity, a document that she knew or ought to have known contained a false or misleading statement;
  • engaging in conduct relevant to the practice of nursing, that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as dishonourable and unprofessional.

The College of Nurses of Ontario (“CNO”) and the Member presented the Panel with a Joint Submission requesting that the Panel make an order that included the following:

  • an oral reprimand;
  • a five-month suspension; and
  • terms, conditions and limitations, including:
    • attending two meetings with a Regulatory Expert; and
    • employer notification for 18 months.

Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:

  • the Member engaged in two different types of misconduct: emotional abuse of a patient and the dishonest act of falsifying documents;
  • the Member engaged in four inappropriate incidents when she shared undignified photographs, via “Snapchat” with her health care team, relating to her patients;
  • the Member captioned one of the degrading photographs with the words, “guess who”;
  • the Member’s  shared photos and  video had an element of blaming patients;
  • the Member did not provide good role modeling to colleagues subordinate to her;
  • after the Member sent her colleague a photograph of damage caused by a patient, she followed up by telling her colleague the name of the patient;  and
  • the Member falsified statements on her resume and job application to avoid being identified as one of the individuals fired as a result of the “Snapchat” incidents.

Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:

  • the Member had no prior history with CNO;
  • the Member cooperated with CNO and made admissions of misconduct; and
  • the Member’s expressions of remorse indicated that she is open to remediation.

The Panel accepted the Joint Submission, concluding that the proposed penalty was reasonable and in the public interest.

Page last reviewed November 22, 2019