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The College of Nurses of Ontario exists for one reason: to ensure Ontarians receive safe nursing care.
Sexual abuse of a patient by a nurse causes significant harm. The abuse can have lasting effects on a patient’s health and well-being. It can also seriously effect a patient’s caregiver, family and community. CNO considers all complaints and reports of sexual abuse as high risk. We investigate each allegation of sexual abuse with a commitment to provide sensitive and respectful support to victims involved in our processes. Read Sexual Abuse of Patients for more information on what to do if you or a family member has experienced sexual abuse by a nurse.
To enhance public safety, we continue to look for ways to improve how we deal with the issue of patient sexual abuse. In 2019, we completed a research study to better understand what contributes to nurses sexually abusing patients. We chose to do this work because if we can understand what leads to patient sexual abuse, we can potentially prevent it.
We look forward to working with our partners in safety, including nurses, educators, employers and other regulators so that we can do what is needed to eradicate sexual abuse.