24 Aug 2023
A tribunal has cancelled a nurse’s registration and disqualified her from applying for registration for six months after it was found that she had stolen Schedule 4 and 8 medicines and practised under the influence.
In June 2019, Ms Jayne Beare (at the time registered under the name Jayne Buckley) was discovered by her employer for stealing and self-administering medicines while on duty at work.
Ms Beare wrote orders for Schedule 4 and 8 medicines using the names of medical practitioners without permission, presented these falsified documents to the pharmacy to obtain the medicine for her own use. She also ordered Schedule 4 medications for her own use through her employer’s access to a pharmaceutical online ordering service without authority, and misappropriated medication from her employer and falsified entries in the Schedule 8 drug register, including forging signatures of other staff. Ms Beare also practised under the influence of these medicines and when she was aware or ought to have suspected she had an untreated health condition or impairment that could adversely affect her judgment and practice.
Following an investigation, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Ms Beare to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal). The tribunal found that Ms Beare had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and ordered that she:
The tribunal commented the conduct was inherently serious, continued on a significant scale for several months, involved deception, abuse of trust and misuse of her position as a nurse, placed her patients at risk of harm and only stopped when the conduct was discovered by her employer.
It was also noted that Ms Beare accepted responsibility and was deeply remorseful for her actions, has worked hard at rehabilitation and does not intend to return to direct nursing employment.
The tribunal’s decision was made on 26 April 2023 and is published on the AustLII website.