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FAQs Registration Regulation Changes


Why is CNO making regulation changes to the Registration requirement?

With a growing need for nurses in our province, CNO is working with the Ministry of Health to implement regulatory changes that will add to our ongoing efforts to increase the registration of nurses who are safe to practice in Ontario.

When will the new regulations take effect?

The regulations, approved by CNO Council and the provincial government, are now in effect.

Temporary Class

What are the new requirements for Temporary Registration?

To be eligible for Temporary Registration applicants must:

  • meet all requirements for registration in the General Class, except for the education requirement and the registration exam
  • have completed a nursing education program approved or recognized in any jurisdiction, and
  • have an offer of employment from an approved Ontario nursing employer

CNO has also extended the timeframe applicants can be registered in the Temporary Class to two years. This means, Temporary Class registration will expire two years from the date the certificate of registration is issued.

Registrants can continue to hold their Temporary Registration if they fail the registration exam once. However, if registrants fail the registration exam two or more times within the two-year timeframe, their Temporary Class registration will end before the expiry date.

Are applicants safe to practice if they have not completed the necessary education?

The Temporary Class exists so applicants can practice while meeting their outstanding requirements to register in the General Class. To ensure patient safety, applicants registered in the Temporary Class who have not met all the registration requirements must, by law, practice under terms, conditions and limitations. Practicing under terms and conditions means that practice restrictions are in place to protect the public. Applicants are also monitored by a nurse registered with CNO.

Won’t the need for more precepting for those without full education, burden our health care system?

By law, applicants practicing in the Temporary Class must be monitored and directed by an RPN or RN in the General Class or an NP. Employers will have to decide if they have the capacity to support these nurses.

One resource that may help employers is that regulation changes are also being made to make it easier for retired nurses to return to practice in Ontario. These nurses may be a resource to support applicants with Temporary Registration or new nurses in the General Class.

I am currently registered in the Temporary Class. How do these changes affect me?

If you are currently registered in the Temporary Class, the following changes will apply to you:

  • You will now have two opportunities to pass the registration exam since Temporary Registration now expires if you fail the exam twice.  
  • Your Temporary Class registration can also be extended by CNO 

Your Temporary Class registration expiry date will now expire two years from the date of issue.

I was registered in the Temporary Class, but I failed my exam and my registration expired.  Can I re-apply?

No. The law says that applicants cannot re-apply to the Temporary Class if they were previously registered in it

How long will it take to get a Temporary Class registration?

Once CNO receives and assesses the required documentation and is satisfied that the applicant meets all Temporary Class Requirements, it will take up to 15 days to process the registration. Employers can confirm an applicant has temporary registration by searching for their name on CNO’s online register Find a Nurse.

Will you be prioritizing Temporary Class registrations over everyone else?

CNO’s priority is to register safe and qualified applicants regardless of which Class they are applying to. We do not prioritize the registration of one Class over another.

How much will it cost to register in the Temporary Class?

The fee to apply to the Temporary Class is $56.50. Once CNO determines you are eligible, there is a registration fee of $361.60.  Please visit our Application & Membership Fees webpage for a list of all fees.

Can a nursing student in Ontario join the Temporary Class while they are completing their nursing education? 

No. To be eligible for the Temporary Class, applicants must complete an approved nursing program. This includes nursing students in Ontario.  

Why isn’t CNO putting pressure on universities to send Verification of Course Completion and other docs in more timely fashion?

The time it takes for an Ontario nursing school to collect, approve and submit students Verification of Course Completion to CNO varies. While we appreciate students want to be registered as soon as possible, it is important that the Verification of Course Completion is accurate and should not be rushed.

What is the difference between Temporary Class and the Supervised Practice Experience program?

Registration in the Temporary Class is different than participating in the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership Program (SPEP).

SPEP offers applicants the option to complete a supervised practice experience in Ontario, giving them the opportunity to meet the Evidence of Practice and language proficiency requirements to practice safely in today’s health system.

The Temporary Class is for applicants who have met meet all requirements for registration in the General Class, except for the education requirement and the registration exam.

The table below shows the eligibility requirements for both SPEP and the Temporary Class.

Eligibility requirements SPEP Temporary Class
Nursing education equivalency x  
Evidence of practice   x
Registration exam x  
Jurisprudence exam x x
Language proficiency   x
Authorization to work x x
Past offences, health and conduct x x

Temporary Class members will also require an offer an employment to be eligible. Whereas applicants for SPEP will be matched with an approved employer.

Will my Temporary Class application or registration fees be reimbursed? 

We are aware the government has referred to a fee reimbursement plan, and we are working with them to understand the details.  We will provide you with an update as soon as we know more. 

I have failed my registration exam twice. Can I apply to the temporary class?

No. If you have already failed the exam two times or more, you are not eligible for registration in the temporary class.

I understand that an applicant registered in the Temporary Class must be supervised. Does this mean the supervisor must always be with the Temporary Class nurse?

CNO defines supervision as a form of oversight that involves the supervisor working with the supervised nurse to support them in meeting the expected standards of practice. Supervision may be provided directly or indirectly based on the needs of the supervised nurse. Indirect supervision means the supervisor is readily available for consultation but is not directly at the side of the supervised nurse.

Can a RN in the Temporary Class be supervised by an RPN in the General Class?

No, RNs in the Temporary Class must be supervised by an RN in the General Class. However, RPNs in the Temporary Class can be supervised by either an RPN or an RN in the General Class.

Can I change employers while in the Temporary Class?

Yes,  Temporary Class registrants can move to a different employer. CNO must however receive and approve the offer of employment from the new employer before you start working.  

Can a  Temporary Class registrant have more than one employer?

Yes,  Temporary Class registrants can have more than one employer. CNO must receive an offer of employment from each employer.

Can an employer help a Temporary Class registrant meet educational equivalency?

No, identified competencies gaps can only be met through accepted CNO programs.

I previously participated in the Internationally Educated Nurse Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP) but was not successful. Can I still register in the Temporary Class?

Yes. An unsuccessful attempt of the IENCAP does not impact your eligibility for Temporary Class.

Do IENs still have to apply to NNAS first, before becoming eligible for the Temporary Class?

Yes, NNAS is the first step in an IENs application journey. NNAS works with CNO to validate education and identify outstanding competency needs to meet the education equivalency requirement.

I am an RPN registered with CNO but have applied for registration as an RN. Am I eligible for Temporary Class registration as an RN?

Yes. If all required registration requirements for the Temporary Class are met, you are eligible for registration in the Temporary Class.

What does education equivalency mean?

"Equivalent" means you received an education that provided you with the nursing knowledge, skill and judgment comparable to a current graduate from an approved nursing program in Ontario.

How can a Temporary Class registrant achieve educational equivalency?

Applicants identified as not having equivalent education have a number of options to meet education equivalency. More information can be found on completing additional education.

How will an employer know if an applicant meets the requirements for registration in the Temporary Class?

Eligible applicants for the Temporary Class will receive an e-mail from CNO. Employers can ask an applicant to share this e-mail with them as part of the hiring process.

Will employers be made aware of any outstanding education needs of Temporary Class registrants?

CNO does not share outstanding education needs of registrants to employers.  Temporary Class registrants are not obligated to share with employers their outstanding educational needs, but may choose to do so.

Can a temporary Class registrant implement a medical directive?

Yes, a Temporary Class registrant can implement a medical directive if they have the knowledge, skill and judgement to do so. A medical directive is a type of order for several patients when specific conditions are met and when specific circumstances exist. See CNO’s practice guideline Authorizing Mechanisms.

Can a Temporary Class registrant be in a Charge Nurse or supervisory role?

No, temporary class registrants cannot monitor or direct the practice of another nurse in any category or class. Therefore, it is not appropriate for a temporary registrant to be “in-charge” or act in a formal supervisory or leadership role.

This does not prevent a temporary registrant from learning the elements of an “in-charge” role, as long as they are supported by a mentor/preceptor or a designated resource nurse. For example, a temporary registrant could supervise the care provided by UCPs as part of a collaborative practice model.

Page last reviewed November 25, 2022