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Shelley Lynn VanderZwaag, IH09583

The Member admitted that she engaged in professional misconduct by practicing as a Registered Practical Nurse, indicating in patient records that she was a Registered Practical Nurse and holding herself out as a person who is qualified to practice in Ontario as a Registered Practical Nurse all while her certificate of registration was suspended.

The Member was found guilty of the following:

  • falsifying records relating to her practice;
  • inappropriately using a term, title or designation in respect of her practice;
  • contravening a term, condition or limitation on her certificate of registration;
  • contravening a provision of the Nursing Act, 1991, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 or the regulations under either of those Acts;
  • failing to comply with an order of a panel of the Fitness to Practise Committee; and
  • engaging in conduct relevant to the practice of nursing, that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, 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 an oral reprimand and revocation of the Member’s certificate of registration.

Aggravating factors considered by the Panel included:

  • the Member’s conduct showed dishonesty;
  • the Member’s misconduct was intentional and occurred over several years;
  • the Member profited financially as an RPN when her certificate was suspended; and
  • the Member’s patients were put at risk as she practiced unregulated and, at times, unsupervised.

Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included:

  • the Member had no prior disciplinary history at CNO; and
  • the Member cooperated with CNO and participated in the process.

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

Page last reviewed August 14, 2019