Why we’re putting more employment information on the Register
It’s important for the public and employers to have accurate information about nurses. It increases transparency, promotes trust and allows people to make informed decisions about who is providing their care. That’s why it’s the law that all regulated health professions in Ontario, including nurses, have a public register with information about their members. Our register is called Find a Nurse.
At the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry, several participants, including victims’ groups and the Ontario Long Term Care Association recommended that we publish more employment information about nurses on Find a Nurse. This would provide employers with another consistent, efficient and reliable way to obtain information about nurses.
Although the Inquiry will deliver its final report and recommendations in July, we have reviewed and reflected on the publicly available material from the Inquiry. We have also reflected on evidence from our own literature review and the practices of other regulators. We have proactively identified improvements that can be made now. Posting more employment information on Find a Nurse is one such change.
In December, we published details about the proposed by-law changes that would expand the information on Find a Nurse, and asked for your feedback. At its March meeting, Council reviewed that feedback, and approved the changes. Council decided that these changes will help us meet our mandate to protect the public.
What’s changing on Find a Nurse?
From one primary to all current employers
Currently, Find a Nurse lists each practicing nurse’s primary employer. This will be expanded to include all current employers. Since many nurses have more than one employer, this will provide a more accurate picture of a nurse’s employment. This is also consistent with what most other regulated health professionals list on their registers.
Adding employment history
Currently, there is no information about a nurse’s past employment on Find a Nurse. Council has decided that Find a Nurse will list employers from the last three years. Other regulated health professionals also list this info on their registers.
We have begun working to make these changes, and expect these updates to be on Find a Nurse by the end of March.
During the consultation period, some of you asked what CNO would do in situations where publishing employment information would put a nurse in danger. The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, enables CNO to remove information on Find a Nurse in extreme cases where a nurse’s safety is at risk. We do this after a careful review of a nurse’s particular situation.
Your next step: update your info
If there’s a change in your personal or employment information, you have 30 days to update your info. The 30-day window exists because Find a Nurse is only effective if it is current. This is not a new requirement. Keeping your information up-to-date has been a long-standing reporting requirement for all practicing nurses.
To ensure that Find a Nurse is always current, Council approved charging a nurse a $100 fee if they fail to meet their self-reporting requirements.
Our goal is that Find a Nurse is as up-to-date as possible, so we’ll remind you to update your info frequently by posting reminders in The Standard and on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.