A male nurse sacked for inappropriately touching two female nursing students has been found guilty of professional misconduct.
The Wairarapa Hospital-registered nurse, whose name is suppressed, was found to have stroked the thighs of the two students between August and October 2010, as well as trying to kiss one and touch the other's breast with his arm.
The man, referred to as Mr N, also used inappropriate sexual language towards the two on several occasions, discussing rape with both women and offering to take one out to his beachside bach "if she was an adventurous girl".
One nurse later quit her studies because of Mr N's actions.
Yesterday, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found Mr N's actions amounted to malpractice and professional misconduct.
The acts were particularly concerning because they involved vulnerable student nurses, they happened in private, and in situations where there was a "significant power imbalance".
The evidence of both nurses given at a Masterton hearing in May was "entirely reliable", and the tribunal did not accept Mr N's denials.
A penalty has not yet been given.
Mr N, a longstanding employee of Wairarapa District Health Board, was fired in December 2010.
Earlier that year, he had mentored the two students while they were on a six-week placement at Wairarapa Hospital.
During that time, his conduct became increasingly inappropriate and sexually suggestive. On several occasions, he rubbed the students' thighs while driving to visit patients, and told one he wanted to have sex with her.
Mr N denied all allegations.
During the hearing, nursing director Helen Pocknall admitted that sexual banter and flirting had been common at the unit where Mr N worked.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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