June 2023

News and Notes

News and Notes is CNO’s regular roundup of nursing news you can use.

RPN controlled act update

The Ontario government has approved regulations granting RPNs the authority to independently initiate certain controlled acts without needing an order from an authorized health care professional in some practice settings. The regulations take effect Saturday, July 1, 2023. They are available to view on e-laws, which provides online access to Ontario’s statutes and regulations.

RPNs have always had the authority to perform these controlled acts, but with an order. The difference is that RPNs with the relevant competence can now initiate these procedures without an order. These changes are intended to increase access to timely health care services and reduce barriers to care.

“CNO’s role is to protect the public and ensure any changes within nursing scope of practice are implemented safely for all,” said Carol Timmings, Chief Quality Officer and Deputy Registrar. “Recognizing that many RPNs have the expertise to initiate these controlled acts, this helps increase access to health care.”

This change only applies in certain practice settings. For example, RPNs who practice in hospitals always will need an order. This is a requirement under the Public Hospitals Act.

Chief Nursing Officer of Canada visits CNO

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) welcomed Chief Nursing Officer of Canada Dr. Leigh Chapman to its offices on June 15.

The Chief Nursing Officer of Canada has a unique mandate to support and connect the nursing profession from coast to coast to coast – as a leader in healthcare regulation, CNO recognizes the power of collaboration on shared goals.

“Working together, we have a shared opportunity to further strengthen the health care system, nursing regulation and public safety,” added Crawford.

Chapman’s visit focused on areas of shared interest, including a tour of CNO and a national and provincial priorities presentation and meeting with CNO’s directors' group.

Bill 60 passes  

In May, the government passed Bill 60, Your Health Act, 2023.  

The bill allows the Minister of Health authority under the Nursing Act, 1991 to make regulations related to exemptions on who can use the title nurse and who is qualified to practice in Ontario as a nurse. Those exemptions could be made through future regulatory amendments made by the minister. The government previously indicated that one such exemption could be to allow nursing registrants in other Canadian provinces or territories to practice in Ontario without first registering with CNO.

As leaders in public safety and the promotion of safe nursing practice, CNO is eager to continue working with the government to reduce potential barriers to labour mobility and facilitate the timely registration of Canadian out-of-province registered health professionals.

QA Assessment is coming

Quality Assurance (QA) is an accountability that assures the public of nurses’ commitment to continuing competence by improving their nursing practice on an ongoing basis. Part of this program is QA Assessment, where CNO randomly selects practicing nurses from the General and Extended classes to complete assessment activities. Notification emails will be released in the coming weeks.

To determine if you have been selected for QA Assessment, please check your email. If you have any questions about the QA Assessment process, please contact the QA Program team at QAassessment@cnomail.org, 416-963-3922, or 1-800-387-5526 (ext. 3922).

Incoming NCSBN CEO

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) in the U.S. will have a new CEO this fall.

Philip Dickison, the NCSBN’s current COO, will succeed retiring CEO David Benton as of Sunday, October 1, 2023.

The NCSBN is a non-profit where nursing regulatory organizations, like CNO, share expertise and best practices about patient safety. CNO’s Chief Quality Officer and Deputy Registrar Carol Timmings has a leadership role with the NCSBN as an elected member of its board of directors.

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