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Nurses and midwives and the complaints process

As a registered nurse or a registered midwife, you are well placed to identify whether or not your nursing or midwifery colleagues are upholding professional standards or if they are failing to meet those standards. If you have concerns about a colleague, it may be appropriate to bring those concerns to the attention of your line manager or to another member of staff in the first instance.
As a nurse or midwife, you have a professional responsibility to report any safety concerns you have about the health care environment. This responsibility extends to reporting your concerns where you consider patients’ dignity is not being respected. 
If you are an employer or a nursing and midwifery manager as well as being a nurse or midwife, you have additional responsibilities in relation to reporting and acting on safety concerns that have been brought to your attention. Read more about employers’ responsibilities.

NMBI will consider complaints about registered nurses or midwives where there are public safety or professional standards issues arising from:

  • Professional misconduct
  • Poor professional performance
  • Non-compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics
  • A relevant medical disability, including alcohol or drug misuse
  • Failure to comply with a condition attached to retention of a nurse or midwife’s name in the register
  • An irregularity in relation to controlled drugs or drugs likely to be abused.

As a registered nurse or midwife you should be alert to:

  • Signs or reports of abuse of patients or colleagues
  • Failures or deficits in the delivery of care to patients
  • Failures or deficits in the documentation of nursing or midwifery care
  • Dishonesty, including possible theft of medications
  • Failures or deficits in medication management
  • Protracted periods or frequent episodes of ill health
  • Certain criminal convictions.

Submitting a complaint

The PPC of NMBI can only deal with written complaints. If you wish to make a complaint, please put your complaint in writing and post to: 

PPC Division 
Fitness to Practise Department
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
18-20 Carysfort Avenue
Co. Dublin

Alternatively please email your complaint to
If you wish you may submit your complaint to NMBI using the complaint form.

If you are considering making a complaint to NMBI, you should also consider what documentation you have to support any allegations. This may include completed investigation reports, copies of patients’ records, local or organisational protocols, and sick leave records.  

Further information

You can find out more about what is involved in making a complaint about a registered nurse or registered midwife and what happens after a complaint is made on these pages:

Alternatively, you can read our Making a Complaint booklet which NMBI has prepared to assist members of the public and others to understand the complaints process.   

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Making a Complaint

(PDF, 1.43 MB)


Additional resources

All nurses and midwives are expected to be familiar with the standards and guidance that are developed by NMBI as part of its remit to set standards for the professions and to protect the public.  

These include: 

  • The Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics.  The Code aims to support and guide nurses and midwives in their ethical and clinical decision making.  For more information visit our special section on the Code 
  • Recording Clinical Practice. Nurses and midwives are professionally and legally accountable for the standard of care they deliver.  The quality of records maintained reflects the quality of care they provide to their patients. Find out more
  • Guidance to Nurses and Midwives on Medication Management. Nurses and midwives should know about the relevant legislation and protocols relating to the prescribing, dispensing, storage, supplying and administration of medications and medicinal products.  For more information, visit the Medicines  Management section
  • Guidance to Nurses and Midwives on Social Media. Social media can be used to benefit nurses and midwives professionally in terms of keeping up to date with current trends in healthcare and professional practice. The same standards of conduct expected of nurses and midwives in their professional practice also apply when they use social media and electronic forms of communication. Learn more about NMBI’s social media guidance
  • Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice.  Nurses and midwives should only perform tasks and carry out roles that they are educated, competent and authorised to perform. For more information visit our special section on the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice. 

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