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What you need to know if you are a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner being investigated.

Our role

Our role is to regulate registered nursing practice in the best interests of the public. One way we do this is to review, and if required, investigate complaints we receive about the conduct, competence, health or behaviour of RNs and NPs licenced to practice in our province.

Due to our mandate, we are not able to defend you or your nursing practice. What we will do, however, is conduct a fair investigation into a complaint filed against you with the goal of trying to determine what happened.


During an investigation and any appearance before a professional conduct committee, you have the right to be represented by legal counsel, a union representative or any other individual you chose, at your own cost.

Because we cannot provide you with advice on how to defend yourself against a complaint, we recommend that you contact your union or legal counsel when you receive a letter from CRNNS indicating that a complaint has been filed against you.

Interim Orders

At any time before the investigation is completed, we may decide to refer the complaint to a Complaints Committee for an interim order to place conditions or restrictions on your licence or to have your licence suspended. These interim orders will remain in place until a Committee decides to remove them, which is normally when the investigation is completed and the matter is decided by a professional conduct committee.

In most cases, if we decide to seek an interim order, we provide you with notice and the opportunity to speak to the Complaints Committee. When, however, we believe there is a serious risk to public safety, we do have the right to seek an interim order without providing you with advance notice. If this happens, you will receive a written decision from the Committee with reasons for the interim order. You will then have 30 days to ask to meet with the Committee and request that they remove the interim order.

Voluntary Resignations

At any time following receipt of the complaint, you may ask the CEO and Registrar for permission to voluntarily resign from the Register. This means that you are resigning both your licence and your membership with CRNNS and will not be able to continue practicing as a nurse.

A request to voluntarily resign is granted if information supports the request and if it is meets the bests interests of the public. Information supporting a request to voluntarily resign could include:

  • admitting or not contesting the allegations against you
  • you are no longer fit to practise due to a serious or long-term health condition

It is possible that the CEO and Registrar may decide to deny your request to resign your licence because it does not meet the best interests of the public. However, in event your request is denied, you may still request a voluntary resignation at the Complaints Committee meeting or from the Professional Conduct Committee.