First nurse registers through new program


For Sukh Kaur, the first nurse to register through a new program CNO recently launched with Ontario Health, all the excitement started in a parking lot.

It was there, at a long-term care home in Wingham, that a health care colleague asked Kaur if she knew about CNO’s new Supervised Practice Experience Partnership (SPEP).

Kaur, who practiced as a nurse in India before moving to Canada, where she’s been a personal support worker for two years, wasn’t familiar with SPEP. The colleague explained that the program provides an opportunity for applicants in CNO’s registration process to complete the evidence of practice and, if outstanding, language proficiency requirements.

“I just told him my story: I hadn’t done my evidence yet. I was planning to go back to India for that,” Kaur says, adding she hadn’t completed her language proficiency requirements. It turned out Kaur was an ideal candidate for SPEP and, only a few weeks after that parking lot conversation, she was a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN).

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What happened at Council

CNO’s board of directors, which is called Council, meets quarterly to provide oversight, insight and foresight into CNO’s strategic direction. At its March meeting, Council elected a new President and Executive Committee, approved five new nursing programs and discussed the positive impact of changes to our registration processes. To see all the agenda items, go to our Council Meetings page.

Here's a highlight of what happened at Council.

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Better ways for applicants to show language proficiency

As part of CNO’s ongoing efforts to modernize our application and assessment processes, we’ve updated our Language Proficiency policy to further enhance public safety and make the process more efficient for applicants.

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New faces, President for Council

At its March meeting, Council elected Naomi Thick, RN, as President, effective Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Thick first joined Council in 2017, and is currently serving as Council’s Vice President, RN.


Thick is a Clinical Manager in the Hematology and Oncology program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

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Passing the torch at CNO

One era has given way to another at CNO, while the patient safety mandate endures. Anne Coghlan, the Executive Director and CEO of the College of Nurses of Ontario, will retire from the role as of Thursday, March 31, 2022. As the leader of CNO for 21 years she leaves behind a legacy of promoting safe nursing practice and upholding patient safety.


“While I’m going to miss the people that I have had the great privilege to work with, Council and staff, I know that CNO is on an exciting path,” Coghlan said in remarks at her final Council meeting on March 3, 2022. She added that it’s “a path guided by a bold vision, strong governance and a CNO team that is second to none,” with every CNO member remaining committed to supporting patient safety in all aspects of their work.


At the same meeting, CNO announced that Carol Timmings, Chief Quality Officer (CQO), will succeed Coghlan on an interim basis as the Acting Executive Director and CEO. Timmings, an RN, has been CQO for the past two years.



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