Complaints/Concerns


The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) is the governing body for registered psychiatric nurses in the province of Alberta. The CRPNA mandate is to service the interest of the public and to guide the profession of psychiatric nursing. The CRPNA registers; issues practice permits and regulates its members in accordance with provincial legislation, the HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT (HPA).

Complaints are managed under the Health Professions Act.

There are a number of avenues within the health-care system, including CRPNA where members of the public (patients, family members of a patient, nurses, co-workers etc.) and employers can make a complaint about a registered psychiatric nurse's conduct. Please note, all employers are legally obligated to report to CRPNA, at the time discipline is issued, any terminations, suspensions or resignations where there are practice concerns.

Is CRPNA the right organization to manage my complaint?

  • Have a complaint? CRPNA wants to recognize your need to file a complaint, but also want to ensure that you are directing your concerns to the right organization

  • CRPNA can only investigate complaints against individual registered psychiatric nurses* that are related to their professional conduct. Not all concerns about registered psychiatric nurses need to be reported to CRPNA. There are other avenues you can take to resolve your concerns more quickly and easily

  • CRPNA recommends you carefully review and consider the following information before filing a formal complaint with CRPNA. If you are unsure or want guidance, please call 1- 780.434.7666 or 1.877.234.7666 and ask for the Complaints Director or Assistant to the Complaint’s Director

*The term registered psychiatric nurse refers to graduate psychiatric nurse, international educated psychiatric nurse on a temporary permit and a registered psychiatric nurse.


Complaints against a Registered Psychiatric Nurse? Consider Going to the Employer First.

Before reporting a complaint against an RPN to CRPNA, often the most productive and quickest way to resolve issues is by first discussing your concerns about your care with the registered psychiatric nurse or the employer, such as the manager of the department where the nurse works or the head of the facility.

The employer has a responsibility to manage concerns about their staff, including registered psychiatric nurses and most concerns can be managed at this level and this will be less time consuming. Many facilities are under the umbrella of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

 

If you do not know the name of the RPN or the RPN’s manager or you don’t get a response from the facility

You can file a complaint that involves care at an Alberta Health Services facility with the Office of Patient Concerns by calling 1.855.550.2555 or faxing information to 1.877.871.4340. You can also send your complaint by mail to:

Patient Concerns Officer and Executive Director, Patient Relations
Mail Slot #57, 11111 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 0L4

If you file a Patient Concerns Complaint and are Not Satisfied with the Outcome

You can escalate your concern to the Alberta Ombudsman and request an external review.

780.427.2756 or 403.297.6185
ombudsman.ab.ca

You can file a complaint with CRPNA by naming the registered psychiatric nurse (must have first and last name), outlining the behaviors you believe are unprofessional and must include your signature.


If a Complaint has been made in writing can it still be resolved informally?

The CRPNA endeavors, whenever appropriate to resolve complaints informally to achieve results that would be consistent with what might be expected following the completion of a formal process. Resolving complaints informally can usually be achieved more quickly and in a collaborative manner to that of a formal hearing. A complaint can be resolved informally with the consent of the complainant and the RPN.

Professional Practice Concerns - Steps Towards Resolution

What is Required When Reporting a Complaint against an RPN to CRPNA?


Verbal complaints are not accepted. Only one person can sign the complaint letter and that person will be the complainant. The complainant should be the person directly involved, when possible. If others are involved, whoever signs the written complaint will be considered the sole complainant and the others may be treated as witnesses. To treat a matter as a complaint and begin an investigation, CRPNA needs the first and last name of the particular psychiatric nurse along with some specific information about what that registered psychiatric nurse did which was considered unprofessional conduct. Examples include:

  • Concerns with nursing care

  • Neglect/abuse (verbal, physical, emotional, sexual)

  • Medication administration error

  • Patient safety

  • Breach of privacy/confidentiality

  • Theft/fraud/deceit

  • Conflict of interest

  • Use of rude, unprofessional language

  • Inappropriate relationship

  • Co-worker harassment/bullying


Complaint Report Form

Health-care Complaints that the CRPNA cannot Address

The CRPNA can only address complaints that are within its legislated authority as set out in the HPA.

The CRPNA cannot address the following types of complaints:

  • Complaints about other members of other nursing colleges or any other professional college. If a person has a concern about members of other nursing members or professionals it is appropriate to contact that nursing/professionals own regulatory body.

  • Complaints about unregulated practitioners. The CRPNA has no authority to deal with complaints about individuals who are not regulated members of CRPNA. The titles that regulated members can use are: Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) or Psychiatric Nurse (PN). If an individual providing service does not use one of those titles the individual is not likely a regulated member of CRPNA and the CRPNA cannot take any action on a complaint about that professional.

  • Complaints related to matters the CRPNA does not have legislative authority to address. The CRPNA’s authority comes from the HPA. The CRPNA does not have authority to address the following type of complaints:
    • Employment or labor relations difficulties
    • Compensating an individual who may feel they have been wronged by actions of a Registered Psychiatric Nurse
    • Organizational or societal issues

If You Believe the Care Concerns are related to Patient Abuse


If you have a concern about a registered psychiatric nurse related to patient abuse you should report this to CRPNA. You may also report this to the Protection for Persons in Care (PPC). For other concerns related to patient abuse, not involving a registered psychiatric nurse, you need to contact PPC. You do not need to know the name of an individual health care provider to file a complaint with PPC.

Further information about patient abuse can be found at: health.alberta.ca/services/protection-persons-care.html‎

To report abuse:

Call the PPC reporting line at 1.888.357.9339 (Please note, this is not a crisis line. It operates weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Report in writing and mail or fax it to:

Alberta Health
Attn: Protection for Persons in Care
Station M, Box 476
Edmonton, AB T5J 2K1

Fax: 780.415.8611

Frequently Asked Questions


What if I don't know the name of the registered psychiatric nurse I want to complain about?

CRPNA does require a first and last name to come from you. We do not have the access or authority to acquire the name on your behalf. If you aren’t sure you can:

  • Ask the RPN directly to identify him or herself
  • Contact the health facility where the RPN works
  • Review your clinical record which should include the signatures of those providing care
  • If still unable to determine the name of the RPN, you may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

What if there is more than one registered psychiatric nurse involved?

You'll need to submit a separate complaint letter for each registered psychiatric nurse as well as identify the role of each individual as it relates to your complaint. Each complaint will be investigated separately.

Is there a time limit to report a complaint?

There is no time limit as long as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse maintains his/her status as a regulated member; however, by submitting your complaint in a timely manner it is more likely details can be recalled more easily by those involved. A complaint against a former member must be made within two years from the time they stopped being a member of CRPNA.