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FAQ: Non-Practising Class

NOTE: Council has approved the removal of "in Ontario" from the declaration of practice requirement because the evidence indicated it was no longer needed to protect the public. We are awaiting Government approval on this change. This year's annual renewal reflects the anticipated change. You will be asked if you practised nursing in the last three years; however, you will not be required to indicate you practised "in Ontario."

The following are responses to commonly asked questions about the Non-Practising Class.

General Questions

What is the Non-Practising Class?

Membership in the Non-Practising Class gives current or former members of the College’s General or Extended classes who are not currently practising nursing the option of maintaining their registration with the College. Nurses registered in this class are still considered members of the College.

Established on January 1, 2013, the Non-Practising Class replaced the College's Retired Class, thereby enabling nurses of any age, rather than only those aged 65 or older, to maintain registration with the College while not practising nursing.

Members of this class pay a reduced fee and are not required to fulfill the same requirements to maintain their registration as nurses in the General and Extended Classes. For example, Non-Practising Class members do not participate in the Quality Assurance Program and they do not have to maintain Professional Liability Protection coverage.

What is the purpose of the Non-Practising Class?

The Non-Practising Class protects the public interest by providing members with a certificate of registration that accurately reflects their non-practice of the profession.

Each year, when nurses renew their membership, the College collects demographic data, including information about where they are working and their nursing role (if any). The Non-Practising Class allows the College to collect more accurate statistical information about Ontario's nurses.


Registering in the Non-Practising Class

Who is eligible to register in the Non-Practising Class?

Current or former members of the College’s General or Extended Classes can join the Non-Practising Class.  

You are not eligible to join this class if you have never been registered with the College, or if you have only been registered in the Temporary, Special Assignment, and/or Emergency Assignment classes.

How do I join the Non-Practising Class?

Nurses who meet the eligibility criteria in the previous question can request a Non-Practising Class application form by contacting the College’s Customer Service Centre. Nurses can apply to the Non-Practising Class and remain registered in this class for as long as they want.

I plan to leave nursing permanently. Do I have to join the Non-Practising Class?

No. There is no obligation to join the Non-Practising Class.

How much does it cost to join the Non-Practising Class?

Former members pay an application fee of $56.50. There is no application fee for current members. The annual renewal fee is $56.50.


Holding a Non-Practising Class Certificate

I am a member of the Non-Practising Class in Ontario, but I am registered and practising in another jurisdiction. Will this information be conveyed?

Nurses in the Non-Practising Class who are employed in another province or country will have their employer information from that jurisdiction posted in Find a Nurse, the online public register at www.cno.org. This will show that they are employed outside of Ontario.

Can I join the Non-Practising Class but still volunteer as a nurse?

No. Nurses in this class are not permitted to practise nursing in Ontario or to hold themselves out as qualified to practise as a nurse, in either a paid or volunteer capacity, in Ontario.

I hold dual membership with the College. Can I register in the Non-Practising Class in one category (e.g., as a Non-Practising Class RN) and in another class and category (e.g., as a General Class RPN)?

No. Members of the Non-Practising Class cannot practise nursing in Ontario. You cannot hold a Non-Practising Class certificate and a General Class (or an Extended, Temporary, Special Assignment or Emergency Assignment Class) certificate with the College at the same time. However, if you are registered as an RN and RPN in the General Class, you can apply to hold Non-Practising Class certificates in both categories.  

Will RNAO/RPNAO accept me as a member if I belong to the College’s Non-Practising Class?

Contact RNAO/RPNAO for information about their membership requirements.

What title can I use as a member of the Non-Practising Class?

If you are in the Non-Practising Class, you can use the titles “RN” or “RPN,” with or without the “Non-Practising” qualifier. As a member of the Non-Practising Class, you continue to be a member of the College and therefore can call yourself a nurse.


Returning to Nursing Practice

What do I have to do when I want to return to nursing practice after being in the Non-Practising Class?

Nurses registered in the Non-Practising Class who want to resume nursing practice must apply for reinstatement.

Reinstatement is a means by which former members of the College and Non-Practising Class members can re-apply for their General or Extended Class membership without having to meet all of the requirements of first-time College applicants. 


Renewal and the Non-Practising Class

I have not practised nursing within the previous three years, so I will not meet the Declaration of Practice requirement for renewal.

  1. Can I join the Non-Practising Class now or do I have to wait until renewal opens for next year?

    You do not have to wait until renewal opens. You can join the Non-Practising Class at any time of the year by requesting an application form from the College’s Customer Service Centre.

  2. If I join the Non-Practising Class now, or if I am already a member of this class, what will I have to do when renewal opens in October?

    When annual membership renewal opens in October, you will have to complete the online renewal form for Non-Practising Class members and pay the annual membership fee for Non-Practising Class members.

  3. What happens if I resign?

    If you resign, you are no longer a member of the College. This means you can no longer practise as a nurse in Ontario in either a paid or unpaid position, use any of the protected titles (nurse, Registered Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse or Nurse Practitioner), or hold yourself out to anyone as a person qualified to practise nursing in Ontario.

Page last reviewed October 31, 2016