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In our experience, we find that most of the concerns people have with the conduct, competence, health or behaviour of a nurse can quickly and easily be resolved directly with the nurse and that nurse’s employer. If you have tried this approach already or don’t feel this approach is appropriate for you, you may wish to speak with one of our Professional Conduct Consultants for more information.

General Inquiries

conduct@crnns.ca or 902.491.9744 (1.800.565.9744) ext. 232


Professional Conduct Staff

Elizabeth Parenteau, Acting Manager for Professional Conduct
eparenteau@crnns.ca
Ext. 291

Kristina Koller, Professional Conduct Consultant
kkoller@crnns.ca
Ext. 241

Matthew Lafond, Professional Conduct Consultant
mlafond@crnns.ca
Ext. 245

Darlene Mott, Professional Conduct Consultant
dmott@crnns.ca
Ext. 227


Reasons to lay a complaint

If you feel that a nurse has engaged in poor practice, inappropriate behaviour, has not met her/his practice standards or Code of Ethics, or is a risk to the public, you may have grounds to file a complaint with us.

In some instances, it may be more appropriate for a nurses’ employer to deal with an issue through their own timely and local disciplinary procedures. This would be a suitable approach in situations where patient safety is not at risk and where the employer can support the RN or NP to improve.

If you have any doubts about what direction to take then you may wish to speak with one of our Professional Conduct Consultants for more information.

When a complaint can be lodged

In most cases, it is best to raise concerns you have with the actions or conduct of a nurse directly with the nurse or the nurse’s employer. You may find, depending on the nature of the concern, that the matter can be resolved in a fair and timely manner without our involvement. If, however, it is not appropriate to report to the employer for any reason or the nurse poses a threat to public safety, then the complaint should be submitted to us as soon as possible.

If you are considering filing a complaint with us, it is best to do so as soon as possible Although there is no time limit in which to file a complaint, it is more difficult to investigate incidents that took place a number of years ago. In serious cases, it may be necessary for us to act quickly to restrict a nurse’s practice until the complaint is investigated, or in serious situations, remove them from practice as soon as possible.

Once a complaint has been submitted, the professional conduct process has been initiated and we may need to carry out an investigation to better understand the nature of the issues. The investigation may involve taking further statements from you and other witnesses. The nurse involved will also be notified about the complaint.

Can we address the incident?

We have the authority to address complaints about registered nurses and nurse practitioners only. Complaints and concerns about other healthcare providers will need to be raised with the appropriate organization. Like nursing, those vocations that are regulated will have a regulatory body for you to contact with their own protocols and procedures in place.

What information do we need?

In order for us to address a complaint, we require a signed letter from you that provides us with as much information as possible to properly deal with the issue. We have provided you with sample letters that you will find on this page as resources for you. You may also speak with one of our Professional Conduct Consultants for support.

Once you have submitted the complaint, the professional conduct process has been initiated and we may need to carry out an investigation to better understand the nature of the issues. The investigation may involve taking further statements from you and other witnesses. The nurse involved will also be notified about the complaint.


Formal complaints to CRNNS must be submitted in a signed letter including information that highlights the details of your complaint.

When submitting a request you should:

  1. Address your complaint to CEO and Registrar, Sue Smith.
  2. Include your name, address, phone number and/or email address as contact information.
  3. State that you’re submitting a letter of complaint.
  4. Include the name of the nurse and your relationship with the nurse (eg., provided care to you; to a relative; etc.)
  5. Provide as much detail as you can about the incident(s) and include, if possible, the following:
    1. The nurse’s actions that caused your concern
    2. The date(s) and time(s) of incident(s)
    3. The location(s) where incident(s) occurred
    4. The name(s) of those who may have witnessed the incident(s).
  6. Details about who you may have spoken with to address the concerns, including names and contact information if available.
  7. Any documented evidence that you have with respect to your complaint
  8. Your letter of complaint should be marked “confidential” and addressed to:
    CEO Sue Smith
    College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia
    4005-7071 Bayers Road
    Halifax, NS B3L 2C2
  9. If you are a nursing employer, please also include the nurse’s registration number and work history.

Sample letter from the public

Sample letter from an employer

Documentation and privacy considerations

We pride ourselves on maintaining a fair and confidential professional conduct process. The nature of the complaint may dictate that we gather additional information from other sources in order to deal with your concerns. All documentation gathered in the course of an investigation is treated securely and we communicate our confidentiality expectations to all parties involved.

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