Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Nurse disqualified for three years after being charged with criminal offences
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Nurse disqualified for three years after being charged with criminal offences

11 Jul 2023

A tribunal has ordered that a nurse’s registration be cancelled and she be disqualified from applying for registration for three years after she was charged with criminal offences in the Magistrates Court.

In 2018 and 2020 Ms Erin Buckland plead guilty to a total of 13 criminal offences relating to possession of drugs of dependence, theft of medications from her employer and making false documents. 

Ms Buckland also failed to notify the Board that she was charged and found guilty of the offences as required by the National Law, and falsely declaring that there had been no change to her criminal history when renewing her registration in July 2018 and 2019.

The Board took immediate action in January 2020 and suspended Ms Buckland’s registration under section 156 of the National Law. 

At the hearing, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) did not accept Ms Buckland’s explanation that she accidently took the medications home while she worked at Geelong Hospital. 

The Tribunal found that Ms Buckland’s conduct constitutes professional misconduct, ordered that she be reprimanded and her registration as a nurse cancelled. She was disqualified from applying for registration for a period of 3 years.

Due to Ms Buckland’s lack of candour and unwillingness to take responsibility for her actions, her demonstrated lack of insight into the seriousness of the conduct and the absence of evidence of rehabilitation, the Tribunal was satisfied that a period of disqualification of three years was appropriate, taking into account that she had been suspended since January 2020. The period of disqualification will mean that she will have been out of practice for around six years. 

The Tribunal’s decision was made on 8 March 2023. Read the full decision on austlii.

Page reviewed 11/07/2023