Saskatchewan nurse appeals $26K fine for Facebook post

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A Saskatchewan nurse who was hit with $26,000 in penalties for a Facebook post criticizing her grandfather’s palliative care is appealing the decision to the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Carolyn Strom was found guilty of professional misconduct and fined by the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) in October for a post saying staff caring for her grandfather weren’t “up to speed” on palliative care or how to “help maintain an aging senior’s dignity.”

Appeal filed with Saskatoon court

Strom’s lawyer Marcus Davies told CBC News last month he planned to argue that Strom’s comments online were not related to her work, as she was on maternity leave at the time, and that she was referring to a family member’s situation outside the health region where she worked.

“If it doesn’t apply only to your practice, then your behaviour is under scrutiny 24/7 and that’s real worrisome for any of us in a profession,” he said.

According to court documents that were recently filed by Strom’s lawyer in Saskatoon, the discipline committee breached Strom’s rights of thought, belief, opinion and expression.

It also states the penalty imposed is excessive and unreasonable and requests that the appeal court find her not guilty.

Fundraising campaign raised enough to cover penalties

Although Strom was fined thousands of dollars, the community reached out to cover the cost. On April 17, a campaign on GoFundMe reached its $26,000 goal to pay the nurse’s penalties.

Along with the fine, the SRNA has ordered Strom to write a self-reflective essay on what she did wrong, and how she will change her behaviour in the future.

She was also ordered to complete an online course on the Canadian Nurses Association’s code of ethics.

Carolyn Strom Notice of Appeal (PDF)
Carolyn Strom Notice of Appeal (Text)

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Saskatchewan nurse appeals $26K fine for Facebook post

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