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Stephen Harper 9706607

The Member admitted that he committed professional misconduct when he used racist language while telling an inappropriate story to a group of patients. The Member also unsuccessfully attempted a one-person patient transfer contrary to the two-person transfer method specifically required by the patient’s physician and as set out in the patient’s chart. The Member failed to document the failed transfer. The Member also admitted he did not document that a second patient had fallen from bed and hit her head. Lastly, the Member admitted that he administered medication to the same patient without authorization.

The Panel found the Member committed professional misconduct in that he:

  • contravened a standard of practice of the profession or failed to meet the standards of practice of the profession;
  • verbally and emotionally abused a patient;
  • failed to keep records as required; and
  • engaged 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 on Order and requested that the Panel order the following:

  • an oral reprimand;
  • a 3-month suspension;
  • terms, conditions and limitations, including:
    • 2 meetings with a Regulatory Expert; and
    • an 18-month employer notification period.

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

The aggravating factors considered by the Panel included the seriousness and nature of the Member’s conduct.

Mitigating factors considered by the Panel included the following:


  • the Member cooperated with the CNO and that, by agreeing to the Agreed Statement of Facts and Joint Submission on Order, the Member accepted responsibility for his conduct;
  • the Member has no prior history with the CNO;
  • the Member voluntarily admitted the allegations;
  • the Member is remorseful;
  • the Member recognized the impact of his actions and conduct on his patients and indicated that he will never repeat this conduct again; and
  • the Member was experiencing a family crisis, was suffering from a substance abuse problem, and has since become sober.
Page last reviewed March 28, 2022