Here for you

Keeping the focus on you and safe nursing care

When you receive care from a nurse, you can expect to receive safe care from a qualified health professional who is registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario. here for you

What is the College of Nurses of Ontario?

Although we have “college” in our name, we’re not a school. And we’re not an association or a union. 

Who are we? We’re Ontario’s nursing regulator. We’re accountable for ensuring that nurses practise safely. Our practice standards help support safe nursing care, while our approaches to addressing your concerns hold nurses accountable for the care they provide. Everything we do is part of ensuring safe nursing care for everyone in Ontario. 

We also set the requirements for becoming a nurse, establish the standards for safe and ethical nursing practice, and manage your concerns about nurses’ practice and conduct. 

To practise as a nurse in Ontario, you must be registered with CNO. Only members of CNO can call themselves a nurse, Registered Nurse (RN), Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP).

The College works in partnership with employers, educators and government so that everyone in Ontario benefits from quality nursing services. 

You deserve and expect safe care

Whether nurses are new to the profession or have been providing care for years, you want to feel confident they have the knowledge, skill and judgment to provide you and your loved ones with safe care. Our role is to help ensure that everyone receives safe care from every nurse in Ontario. 

Nurses working in Ontario need to meet standards we set. For example, they’re expected to maintain your privacy, build a caring relationship with you based on trust and respect, and understand the standards and how to apply them to their practice for your safe nursing care. They’re also required to stay current with changes in nursing and health care. If you feel that a nurse caring for you isn’t meeting these standards, we’re here to listen to your concerns and address any issues with the nurse.

Addressing concerns

Protecting the interests of the public involves more than ensuring that nurses meet the requirements to provide quality nursing care. When a member of the public or an employer expresses a concern about a nurse’s practice, we respond. A concern can be about anything from a nurse failing to conduct a complete health assessment to theft from a patient or an employer. 

We also respond to concerns about patient abuse. Abuse is any behavior that is disrespectful or undermines a patient’s sense of security. It can be verbal, physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or it can take the form of neglect. We take your concerns about nursing care seriously and resolve or investigate every concern we receive about nursing practice.

We have a number of options for handling concerns. Some focus on increasing a nurse’s knowledge, skill and judgment. Others are disciplinary. For example, we can reprimand a nurse or revoke a nurse’s registration. 

If you have concerns about a nurse, you can make a complaint with the College. 

Providing you with information

Usually, nurses come into our lives when we’re feeling anxious and vulnerable. For this reason, we have information on our website about every nurse in Ontario. By going to Find a Nurse, a register of all nurses in Ontario, you can see whether an individual is registered as a nurse and if there are any restrictions on their nursing practice.  You’ll be able to view all publically available information about a nurse. This includes: registration history, business contact information, practice restrictions, upcoming hearings, disciplinary history, registration in other jurisdictions and, charges and convictions. For a complete list of what is available, visit Find a Nurse.

Safe nursing care. We’re here for you.
Page last reviewed May 07, 2018