June 2023

What happened at Council in June 2023

A roundup of everything you need to know

Every three months, Council, which is comprised of nurses and members of the public, meets to make important decisions that shape the regulation of nursing and promote public safety in Ontario.

Here, we share some of the discussions and decisions from the latest Council meeting, which took place on June 7 and 8.

Key items

IEN Education

Council gave CNO approval to start work on making significant proposed changes to the education requirement for nursing registration in Ontario.

CNO protects the public by promoting safe nursing practice. This includes registering nurses who are qualified to practice safely, whether educated in Canada or internationally.

CNO received approval from Council to begin a robust policy development process, which will come back to Council at a later date.

The proposed changes, if approved by CNO’s Council and government of Ontario, will enable applicants to meet the education requirement if they complete relevant nursing education recognized or approved in any jurisdiction. Applicants also will be required to complete a course to support their successful integration into Ontario’s health care system. During the next few months, CNO will draft regulations and engage nurses and other partners for input. CNO aims to bring these regulations to Council for approval in Sept. 2023.

Stay tuned to CNO News and our social media channels, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, for future updates on this exciting initiative.

You can read more about IEN education here.

Code of Conduct  

Council heard a presentation about the revised Code of Conduct (Code), which all nurses are accountable to as of June 5, 2023.

The updated Code was the result of extensive consultation with nurses and health care partners.

As CNO’s central practice standard, the Code sets out the behaviours and conduct nurses are expected to follow. It also tells the public what to expect from nurses when receiving care.

“The release of the revised Code of Conduct is an important milestone for CNO and ensures nursing standards keep pace with our ever-evolving profession,” said Silvie Crawford, CNO Executive Director and CEO. “I want to thank the many members of the public, nurses and health system leaders who contributed feedback and participated in consultations to make this revision a reality.”

The most significant change to the Code is the transformation of Principle 2, focusing on inclusive and safe care by practicing cultural humility. The Code also includes new features, such as integrating existing standards from Professional Standards and Ethics and embedding direct links to other CNO practice standards and guidelines.

Since key information and principles from Professional Standards and Ethics are now embedded into the modernized Code, the Code will replace both of these practice standards.

Council approves fee increase 

Council took action and approved registration- and application-related fee increases. The fee increases, the first in five years for CNO, were approved by Council to ensure financial sustainability so we can continue to regulate nursing in the public interest.

At Council, CNO thanked nurses and health care partners for participating in the consultation process and acknowledged that the fee increase comes at a difficult time for nurses and the health care system. We only increase fees when necessary to meet our mandate and the increased demands on nurses are also felt by CNO in our regulatory processes.  

Fees fund CNO and our regulatory processes. When you pay your fees, you become a contributor to nursing regulation and public protection, helping to support public trust. Examples of ongoing regulatory work that fees support include the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership Program (SPEP); Modernizing Applicant Assessment; transforming Quality Assurance; updating the Code of Conduct, Practice Quality functions; and supporting an annual average of 60,000 phone calls and 36,000 emails to Customer Service.  

CNO’s fees remain the lowest of any health care regulatory college in Ontario, and annual membership renewal will be $340. The renewal fee will go into effect for 2024, which means it will be reflected in the renewal cost nurses pay in Nov. and Dec. 2023. As mentioned, application fees will also increase.

To read more about fee increases, you can check out the March 2023 issue of The Standard.

Other items

Guest speaker and health human resources 

Council heard from a special guest speaker, Judy Linton, Chief Nurse Executive and Clinical Institutes and Quality Programs Executive at Ontario Health. Linton explained how CNO helps support health system needs and focuses on its mandate.

CNO shared further information with Council about health human resources and the role CNO plays. That included explaining how CNO provides reliable and authoritative health system data and registers nurses who have the knowledge, skill and judgment to practice safely.

CNO also shared how it is exploring new opportunities to further these initiatives, including a forthcoming web-based reporting tool with renewal data, data briefings for government ministries, and a Workforce Census that would survey all nurses related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Annual report 

Council reviewed CNO’s Annual Report, which will be sent to the Ministry for approval. You can read more about the Annual Report, which features the theme of “looking ahead,” in this issue of The Standard.

Strategic Plan 

In March, Council approved an extension of CNO’s strategic plan through to 2026, and CNO shared an update on its plan in June.

Activities to further protect the public by promoting safe nursing practice include improving the applicant experience, understanding the standards of safe practice and evaluating CNO’s position as a trusted stakeholder.

CNO’s Strategic Plan uses key pillars that stating the organization continues to build and apply insights and capabilities, operate with agility, enable proactivity and engage and mobilize health partners.

These values are used to carry on protecting the public by responding to health system needs and continually improving CNO’s processes.

Nursing education program approval 

CNO shared the latest in program approvals, and Council approved three types of review processes.

Program Approval is CNO’s evaluation and monitoring process for approving all entry-level nursing education programs. This makes sure that regulatory accountability is consistently and effectively applied to all nursing education programs, part of CNO’s effort to protect the public. Program Approval ensures graduates are prepared to practice nursing safely.

The three program review processes that Council approved include 62 programs for annual monitoring; a comprehensive review for seven programs, which occurs for all programs every seven years; and preliminary reviews for two new programs.

Temporary Class and reinstatement changes 

Council heard an update on the Temporary Class and reinstatement changes that were started in Nov. 2022.

CNO conducted a survey among nurses who registered in the Temporary Class between November 2022 and April 2023. The results were shared with Council.

Of the 826 nurses invited to participate in the survey, 30% responded. The survey found that 87% of respondents were aware of the Nov. 2022 legislative changes and 80% felt that CNO communicated with them effectively. In addition, 88% of Temporary Class nurses in the survey said that regulation changes made them more likely to apply.

CEO’s update 

In her quarterly CEO update, Crawford shared these latest numbers with Council: 184,574 registered nurses and a 26% increase in social media impressions year-over-year. Also, the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership has seen 1,946 nurses go through the program as of June 9.

Crawford highlighted CNO outreach at the AdvantAge long-term care convention in Toronto, as well as on international trips to Seattle, Washington and Dublin, Ireland.

She also pointed out CNO’s role in program approval throughout the province, which helps support more nursing education seats in the province.

Other notes

It was the first Council meeting for Patricia Sullivan as President. She succeeds outgoing President Naomi Thick.

New Council members also received an orientation about their duties and responsibilities. You can read more about the new Council members here.

What’s next

The next Council meeting takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 27 and Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. To see the latest, you can check out our Council page and follow us on social media for updates (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter).


Back to Top