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B.C. nurse banned five years for intimate patient relationship

The patient was vulnerable, B.C.'s College of Nurses and Midwives said.
A B.C. nurse has been banned from practice for five years.

B.C.’s College of Nurses and Midwives has banned a B.C. nurse from practice for five years after finding she had been involved in an intimate relationship with a vulnerable patient.

A college inquiry committee panel, in a July 27 decision, found Langley nurse Sherri Hedberg “engaged in and maintained an emotionally intimate relationship with a vulnerable client who was part of her caseload.”

The situation took place between September 2022 and April 2023, according to a public notice.

The panel found that Hedberg permitted the client to stay overnight at her home, on separate occasions permitted his family member stay at her home, cooked and shared meals and engaged in other inappropriate physical contact. 

“BCCNM considered that breaches of professional boundaries in the nurse-client relationship where nurses engage in inappropriate relationships with clients in their care is professional misconduct, and conduct that harms patients and erodes trust in the profession," the college said.

The college is one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four distinct professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery. 

Similar legislation in other self-regulated areas such as the legal and notary public professions also allows citizens to know about discipline issues in the public interest.

The inquiry committee said it was satisfied that the terms would protect the public.