Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Tribunal reprimands enrolled nurse for professional misconduct
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Tribunal reprimands enrolled nurse for professional misconduct

22 Jun 2021

A Victorian enrolled nurse has been reprimanded and prohibited from working in aged-care health services until 22 December 2022, for fraudulently obtaining and using a resident’s credit card details.

While working as a personal care attendant at a residential aged-care home (the home) in late January 2017, Ms Ibtisam Abdulkadir took a photograph of a resident’s credit card and used it to make several transactions, including attempting to purchase a mobile phone, wireless headphones, and food supplements, additionally she tried to pay for school fees and her registration renewal with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

Ms Abdulkadir’s employment was terminated on 1 March 2017 after Victoria Police alerted the home to the transactions. Criminal charges were laid between March and August 2017 and Ms Abdulkadir pleaded and was found guilty at the Magistrate’s Court of Victoria in October 2017, no conviction was recorded but she was fined $2,000.

Ms Abdulkadir was first registered by the NMBA as an enrolled nurse on 28 February 2017 and sought to renew her registration in June 2017. She failed to notify the NMBA about the findings of guilt while she was registered and did not declare the change to her criminal history in her application for registration renewal as required by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each state and territory (National Law).

Victoria Police notified Ahpra and the NMBA of the criminal charges.

In December 2017, the NMBA refused Ms Abdulkadir’s renewal application and decided to investigate and subsequently referred Ms Abdulkadir to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal) in March 2019.

At the tribunal Ms Abdulkadir admitted the facts alleged by the NMBA including that her conduct which led to the criminal charges was inconsistent with her being a fit and proper person to hold registration in the nursing profession and that her conduct breached the Code of professional conduct for nurses in Australia and constituted professional misconduct.

In commenting on Ms Abdulkadir’s failure to notify at the time the charges were laid or disclose at renewal the change to her criminal history, the tribunal said: ‘The registration regime contained in the National Law, which focusses on the protection of the public, relies on honest prompt reporting of matters…’. The tribunal categorised Ms Abdulkadir’s behaviour as professional misconduct.

The tribunal also found Ms Abdulkadir misled the NMBA by falsely declaring at renewal no change to her criminal history, this behaviour was less than expected of a registered nurse.

On 22 December 2020, the tribunal ordered that Ms Abdulkadir be reprimanded and prohibited her from providing, whether as employee, contractor, manager or volunteer, any health service (including, but not limited to health services as a Personal Care Attendant) involving provision of care to persons in residential aged care, or receiving home or community based aged care or disability care for two years.

The tribunal’s decision is published on the Austlii website.

Page reviewed 22/06/2021