This nurse qualified in 2016 and spent her third-year final placement in the community which she enjoyed so remained there when qualifying.
She had consecutive stress periods the following year including bereavement and the breakdown of a long-term relationship. This led to her having to take 6 months off work on mental health grounds. She returned to work after the 6 months leave with full support and was quickly offered a senior position at an alternative organisation with the endorsement of her current employer. Whilst applying for the role she made a poor decision in completing paperwork, when it was raised to her she admitted fully what she had done and why and her employer was reassured this was nothing more than a one-off mistake.
Unfortunately, the organisation she had applied to then referred her to the NMC for the error on the grounds of dishonesty. Her employer placed her on a development pathway as a district nursing associate working towards training as a district nurse. She was due to start her District Nursing course in September 2021 but with the NMC referral at the screening stage, she was unsure if this would be allowed to continue and understandably anxious about the impact this may have.
NMCWatch allocated her a case worker who spent time reviewing her reflections and working with her to help her to write down the remediation and insight she was able to outline verbally. The reflection was submitted to the NMC with a covering statement to support why the issues occurred and what she would do to ensure they did not happen again. Her manager and her organisational manager were both fully aware of the referral and keen to show the NMC that they had no ongoing concerns. They had also written to the NMC to express this and the hope that the case would reach conclusion swiftly so that the nurse could continue her career path. After approximately 3 months the NMC returned a decision of issuing a warning and closing the case with no further action.
This case study has shown the following lessons:
- Registrants may be more likely to engage if they have peer-to-peer support
- Employer support is vital to show no current risk.
- Registrants struggle with written reflections even when they can verbalise the internal reflection they have done
- It is important for registrants to admit their mistakes rather than blame others and show they have learnt to avoid them happening again