Investigation Process

When the CRNS receives a complaint about a Member, it is reviewed by the Professional Conduct team.  If the complaint is missing information, Professional Conduct staff will contact the Complainant (person who submitted the complaint). The Investigator and Investigation Committee work as quickly as possible to resolve the complaint. The Investigator’s role is to gather the important information relevant for the Investigation Committee to make an informed decision about the issues in the complaint. The Investigator is not a decision maker in the process. The Investigation Committee makes the decision about the outcome of the complaint. The Investigation Committee consists of 3 Registered Nurses and 2 Public Representatives.

According to the Registered Nurses Act, 1988, the Investigation Committee may take any steps it decides are necessary to properly investigate the complaint. The Investigation Committee powers are defined in section 28.1 of the Act.

Investigation Steps

  1. The complaint is reviewed by an Investigator. If the Investigator needs more information, they will contact the Complainant.
  2. The Investigator prioritizes the complaint based on the risk to the public and when the complaint was received.
  3. Professional Conduct notifies the Complainant and Member that an investigation has begun, and the complaint is sent to the Member to respond to.
  4. The Investigator may ask for patient charts and collect relevant documents.
  5. The Investigator may conduct interviews with witnesses, the complainant and Member.
  6. The Investigator prepares the information gathered and presents it to the Investigation Committee.

After having considered all information gathered in the investigation, the Investigation Committee may do one or more of the following:

No Further Action

The Investigation Committee decided there is not enough evidence that the conduct occurred, or that the conduct is professional misconduct and/or professional incompetence, and no further action will be taken regarding the matter.


The Investigation Committee asks the Complainant and Member to participate in mediation to resolve the complaint. This outcome is used when the complaint concerns only the Complainant and the Member, the complaint is not a risk to the public and both parties have agreed to the mediation.

Caution *

The Investigation Committee requires the Member to appear before the committee in person to emphasize their concerns about the Member’s conduct. The caution is to help the Member improve their practice and prevent them from repeating the behavior in the future.

Required Education *

The Investigation Committee requires the Member to complete a specific continuing education or remediation program to address concerns found in the investigation to assist the Member with improving their practice and help ensure they are practicing safely, competently, and ethically.

Voluntary Surrender of Registration or License *

The Investigation Committee accepts that the Member has voluntarily surrendered their license to practice nursing.

Undertaking *

The Investigation Committee asks the Member to voluntarily enter into an agreement to address the concerns found in the investigation. The Investigation Committee places conditions and/or restrictions on a Member’s license to practice.

Other Appropriate Action

The Investigation Committee requires another reasonable and appropriate action to address the concerns found in the investigation.

Discipline Hearing *

The Investigation Committee decided that there is enough evidence to support that the conduct occurred, and that the conduct could be professional misconduct and/or professional incompetence and cannot be addressed by the other outcomes. The Investigation Committee recommends that it is in public interest for the complaint to be referred to and determined by the discipline committee.

* These outcomes will be noted on the public e-register until completed.

To learn more about the discipline process, hearings and decisions

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