A Sidney nurse will not be practicing for five years for giving a child an immunization after the parent withdrew consent and providing improper nutritional advice for a six-month-old. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

‘Rude’ Island nurse disciplined for unauthorized vaccination, recommending six-month-old suck a steak bone

Sidney nurse relinquishes nursing practice registration for at least five years

A Sidney nurse has relinquished her nursing registration and will not practise for at least five years after what the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals is calling “unprofessional conduct in the workplace.”

On Oct. 15, a panel of the Inquiry Committee with the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP) approved a consent agreement between the BCCNP and Susan Howett, a nurse from Sidney.

The agreement was related to “practice issues that included unprofessional conduct in the workplace” that brought up seven client complaints due to what was called “rude, judgmental behaviour and comments,” according to the BCCNP.

READ ALSO: Sooke nurse suspended over medical breach

A notice on the BCCNP website says Howett gave a child an immunization immediately after the child’s parent withdrew consent for it. Howett also gave a parent “inappropriate” nutrition advice that was “not supported by best practice.” The notice says she recommended a client have her six-month-old baby suck on a large, cooked steak bone to introduce meat into her diet.

The BCCNP says Howett has voluntarily agreed to relinquish her nursing registration and will not reapply for practicing registration for at least five years.

“The Inquiry Committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” the notice says.

Johanna Ward, a spokesperson for the BCCNP, said investigators with the College would have spoken with current and potential employers once the notice was made public on its website. Ward said if Howett were to move to another province, she would have to disclose the consent agreement to any employers.

READ ALSO: Ex-nurse from Vancouver Island fined thousands after exploiting elderly couple

“If she were to reapply after five years, she would have to meet a number of tests including a good character test,” Ward said. “She would go to the registration committee and they would make a decision based on all of the information collected.”

Ward said that outside of extraordinary circumstances, the BCCNP requires a complaint in writing in order to initiate an investigation. She said the College works to try and reach consent agreements wherever possible because it reduces costs and is a proactive way or resolving complaints.

“It brings the nurse to the table and means we can protect the public to ensure they’re taken out of practise, get an education or can practise while being supervised,” Ward said. “The rare times that we do have to go to a hearing are costly and damaging for the nurse.”


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