07 Apr 2022
A Victorian enrolled nurse who continued to practise after their registration lapsed was today fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to a charge brought by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).
The nurse’s registration lapsed on 1 July 2018 after they failed to renew it. Despite realising they were unregistered, they continued to work as an enrolled nurse at an aged care facility until December 2019.
The enrolled nurse was registered once again in 2020 and is listed on the online national register of practitioners.
Ahpra protects the public by ensuring that only registered health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified can claim to be registered. Falsely claiming to be a registered health practitioner is a criminal offence under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law).
The nurse was sentenced today by the Geelong Magistrates’ Court of Victoria for one charge of holding themself out as an enrolled nurse in breach of the National Law. They were fined $2,000 and ordered to pay $3,500 of Ahpra’s legal costs. No conviction was recorded.
In delivering the sentence, Magistrate Mellas said that ‘the offence is a serious one’ and that ‘if people avoid registration, there are risks’.
However, Magistrate Mellas also believed that the nurse’s unique financial and personal circumstance were mitigating and that they should be offered a discounted penalty due to their early plea of guilty. He said that had they not pleaded guilty he would have convicted and fined them $4,500.
Anyone with concerns about the registration of a practitioner can contact Ahpra on 1300 419 495.
*The practitioner has been de-indentified as no conviction was recorded.