A male nurse who inappropriately touched two female nursing students has been ordered to pay more than $20,000 in fines and legal costs.
Jessie Wilson, a former nurse at Wairarapa Hospital's mental health unit, was suspended from practicing nursing for three months by a Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (HPDT) ruling.
He must pay a $2000 fine and $19,500 in legal costs.
The penalty was published today by the HPDT, after it found Wilson guilty of professional misconduct in June.
Wilson 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.
He used inappropriate sexual language towards the two on several occasions, discussing rape with both women and offering to take one out to his Riversdale Beach bach ''if she was an adventurous girl''.
One nurse later quit her studies because of Wilson's actions.
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 HPDT found.
If he returns to nursing, he must be supervised for 18 months, and undertake a course on ethical behaviour.
Wilson was also declined further name suppression, which he held until today.
''The lack of insight demonstrated by Mr Wilson is a particular concern,'' the HPDT ruling said.
''But against that has to be balanced the fact that Mr Wilson does have positive attributes and considerable experience as a practitioner.''
Wilson, a an employee of Wairarapa District Health Board for a decade, 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.
He denied all allegations.
During the hearing, Wairarapa DHB nursing director Helen Pocknall admitted that sexual banter and flirting had been common at the unit where Wilson worked.
- The Dominion Post