This section is for educators in nursing programs at colleges and universities in Ontario. It will:

  • help you understand CNO’s role in approving nursing programs
  • provide information you can share with your nursing students about:
    • entry-to-practice competencies
    • standards of practice and accountabilities of nurses
    • applying and registering to be a nurse
    • entry-level registration exams
    • Quality Assurance

Program Approval is CNO’s evaluation and monitoring process for approving all entry-level nursing education programs (Practical Nursing, Baccalaureate Nursing and Nurse Practitioner) in Ontario. Program Approval is one way CNO meets its mandate of protecting the public.

Learn more about Program Approval

Entry-to-practice (ETP) competencies are the foundation for nursing practice. The documents, Entry-to-Practice Competencies For Ontario Registered Practical Nurses, Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Registered Nurses and Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Nurse Practitioners, outline the competencies required for initial registration with CNO. The competencies also guide the assessment of nurses’ continuing competence for maintaining registration with CNO.

CNO’s Program Approval process assesses the integration of the ETP competencies expected for the category and/or class of registration in all Ontario Entry Level Nursing program curriculums.

Learn more about entry-to-practice competencies.

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CNO develops practice resources you can use to teach nursing students about the standards of practice and their accountabilities as nurses.

Learn more about practice standards.

CNO is modernizing our practice standards to reflect the evolving health care needs of patients and the dynamic nature of the nursing profession.

Learn more about our Modernizing Standards project

Registration examinations assess whether nursing students have the knowledge, skill and judgment required to practice safely at the beginning of their careers in Ontario. 

Learn more about registration examinations.

Information for your nursing students about how to apply and register to become a nurse in Ontario.

Learn more about CNO’s application and registration processes.

CNO’s Quality Assurance (QA) Program assures the public of nurses’ commitment to continuing competence by continually improving their nursing practice.

It is important for nursing students to understand that being self-reflective and committed to life-long learning is a critical part of providing the safest and highest quality care to patients when they are nurses.

Learn more about CNO’s Quality Assurance Program.




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