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New Nurses’ Health Program coming in 2018

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is working with three provincial nursing organizations to deliver a new program that will support additional treatment options for nurses with mental health or substance use disorders.

When launched, the new Nurses’ Health Program will be a voluntary and confidential program to encourage nurses to seek treatment for mental health or substance use disorders. It is a recognized best-in-class approach to treating these issues. This program will be modelled on similar ones that other regulated health professions in Ontario use. 

The new program will be an additional resource to CNO’s current Fitness to Practise (FTP) process. FTP is a regulatory mechanism used when it is determined that a nurse’s physical or mental health is affecting their ability to practise safely. Where necessary, CNO can restrict that nurse’s ability to practice or have them surrender their certificate of registration until certain conditions are fulfilled. 

“CNO’s mission is to protect the public,” says Anne Coghlan, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of CNO. “There is significant research indicating that voluntary and confidential professional health programs are highly effective in both protecting the public and aiding recovery. By having this new option we are doing our best to ensure safe nursing practice.” 

To develop the new program, CNO has been working with the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA), and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). 

“The College of Nurses is very pleased to be working together with these nursing organizations. The Nurses’ Health Program will be a valuable resource for nurses to get the confidential help they need, while strengthening public protection,” says Coghlan. “We all share the same goal of ensuring safe nursing practice in Ontario.”

Page last reviewed February 01, 2018