A hospital network in London, Ont., says a nurse who works in its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) who recently travelled to Washington, D.C., has been placed on unpaid leave.
The nurse in question is Kristen Nagle, who is listed as a licensed registered nurse with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), as of Friday. CNO lists “London Health Sciences Centre – Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario” as her latest employer with a start date of 2012.
In a post shared to her Instagram on Tuesday, Nagle said that she was at “Pearson Airport awaiting on our flight to DC to be united with The Global Frontline Nurses.”
Nagle later posted a video on Thursday in which she states she is getting ready “to leave Washington and start our journey back to Canada.”
“I know especially back home, the media has been out of control, kind of sharing a one-sided story, and since we’re here, I thought I’d kind of give you like grassroots, like, on-the-ground kind of perspective of, like, what actually happened yesterday,” Nagle added in the video.
The video comes one day after violence broke out in the U.S. Capitol that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has characterized as an “assault on democracy by violent rioters, incited by the current president and other politicians.”
A mob violently disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election win on Wednesday, smashing windows and scaling the walls in an incident that has left at least four dead.
“We continue to learn of actions involving an NICU nurse at London Health Sciences Centre that are not aligned with LHSC’s values,” LHSC said in a statement sent to Global News.
“Upon originally learning of these concerns, LHSC took immediate actions to ensure the hospital remains a safe environment for everyone by placing her on an unpaid leave pending the results of the investigation… we are not able to address the specifics of an internal investigation due to privacy.”
When asked what prompted Nagle’s unpaid leave and when the unpaid leave was enacted, a spokesperson for LHSC responded, “I cannot share any details beyond the statement.”
Nagle made local headlines last year, with CBC News reporting in November that the “neonatal nurse could be in trouble with her regulatory body after taking part in anti-mask and anti-lockdown rallies in the province.”
The CBC report added that “a spokesperson for the (CNO) said she could not comment but if an investigation were launched, the results would be made public. ”
On the website for Global Frontline Nurses, a group that lists Nagle as one of its key people, the biography for the nurse notes that she has spoken at “freedom rallies, eventually organizing her own successful freedom march in her hometown.”
Nagle has also written to city hall in opposition of London’s masking bylaw. In a letter addressed to the city’s strategic priorities and policy committee on Sept. 19, 2020, Nagle describes herself as “a RN that has been speaking up against masks, tyranny, losing our freedoms etc.”
Global News has reached out to Nagle for further clarification on her trip to Washington, but did not receive a response upon publication.
LHSC’s statement to Global News can be read in full below:
“We continue to learn of actions involving an NICU nurse at London Health Sciences Centre that are not aligned with LHSC’s values. Upon originally learning of these concerns, LHSC took immediate action to ensure the hospital remains a safe environment for everyone by placing her on an unpaid leave pending the results of the investigation.
“We want to thank those who brought this to our attention and assure you that we take the situation very seriously. While we are not able to address the specifics of an internal investigation due to privacy, safeguarding the health of our patients and their families, staff, and physicians is of the utmost importance and remains our top priority.”