March 2022

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.

New Council executive elected

Council elected Naomi Thick, RN, as President; Raj Kaur, RPN, as Vice-President RPN; and Patricia Sullivan-Taylor, RN, as Vice-President RN. Council also elected public members Fidelia Osime and Maria Sheculski to the Executive Committee.

Their new terms of office begin on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. To learn more about the incoming Executive, read our news item, “New Council leadership elected.”

Five new nursing education programs approved

CNO granted preliminary approval to five new nursing education programs. A preliminary review includes a rigorous assessment of the new program’s curriculum. You can see more information about how we score programs starting on page 29 of the Council package.

1. Cambrian College – Direct Entry Full Program – Bachelor of Science in Nursing 

2. Collège Boréal – Direct Entry Full Program – Baccalauréat en sciences infirmières (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) 

3. La Cité le Collège D’Arts Appliqués et de Technologie – Direct Entry Full Program – Baccalauréat en sciences infirmières (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) 

4. Laurentian University – Pre-Health Education Entry Specified Program – Programme de baccalauréat en sciences infirmières en français pour les IAA [programme passerelle] (French BScN program for RPNs (Bridging program)) 

5. St. Lawrence College – Pre-Health Education Entry Specified Program – Practical Nursing (PN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Hons) Bridge program

CNO evaluates, monitors and approves all entry-level nursing education programs in Ontario. Program approval ensures graduates are prepared to practice nursing safely, competently and ethically for the nursing category and/or class for which they want to register. It’s one way CNO meets its mandate of protecting the public. 

Our registration efforts and system impact

CNO staff updated Council on innovative approaches underway to modernize our registration processes. Our goal is that applicants for registration will experience processes that are evidence-informed, fair, ​inclusive and effective, contributing to improved public access to safe nursing care.

Some of the changes made so far:

New Language Proficiency policy
On March 7, 2022, CNO launched a new Language Proficiency policy. Applicants now have better options to demonstrate language proficiency. We’ve streamlined the types of evidence we’ll accept to focus on demonstration of language proficiency in a health care or health services setting. You can learn more about the new policy on our Proficiency in English or French page.

Supervised Practice Experience Partnership
On January 11, 2022 in collaboration with Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health, CNO launched the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership program (SPEP). This innovative and collaborative partnership helps applicants meet outstanding registration requirements. While the program is open to any eligible applicant, the focus of this program is Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs). 

Early results of SPEP are promising. As of February 25, we have notified 1,149 applicants of their eligibility for SPEP. Of those, 831 applicants expressed interest in participating. CNO has approved 236 employers. Working with Ontario Health, 675 of the 831 applicants have already been matched to an approved employer. For more on SPEP and the story of the first nurse to register through the program, read our latest in The Standard.

Our efforts to find efficiencies are already showing success. In January 2021, CNO registered 392 IENs. In January 2022, that number had climbed to 1,132 IENs registered.  

Registration by the numbers
We continue to see an increase in the number of registrants who are choosing to renew. From 2018 to 2022 we have seen a 9% increase in the number of registrants renewing, from 172,000 in 2019 to 188,000 in 2022.

We’re also seeing an increase in the number of registrants reporting employment in nursing in Ontario, from 144,000 in 2018 to 155,000 in 2022. This represents an 8% increase during that timeframe.

CNO is committed to evolving our registration practices within our regulatory framework and with a focus on evidence, fairness and equity. We continue to innovate and explore partnerships to have a positive impact on the system. In June, CNO will update Council about other solutions we are exploring. This includes approaches that may be appropriate for unique groups of applicants, such as those who wrote the NCLEX exam before 2013. 

Committee appointments

Council appointed the following Council members as chairs:

  • Michael Hogard, Chair of the Discipline Committee and Fitness to Practise Committee

  • Lalitha Poonasamy, Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee 

  • Diane Thompson, Chair of the Registration Committee

Council also voted for the new membership of CNO’s committees, based on assessments done by the Nominating Committee. You can read more about this process starting on page 39 of the Council briefing package.

Learn more about the work these Committees do on our Committees webpage.

Financial statements and by-laws

Council voted to approve the unaudited year-end financial statements for the period ending December 31, 2021. To read the reports of the Finance Committee and learn more about CNO’s fiscal policies, see the Council briefing package.

Council voted to remove Article 56, By-Law No. 1: General, “Funding for Therapy and Counselling” from CNO’s by-laws, because it is outdated and not consistent with either current legislation or CNO’s processes.

Council’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 8, 2022. If you’d like to watch Council decisions as they happen, tune in on YouTube when we live stream our next meeting. You can also read more about the decisions Council made in the minutes of the meeting, which we will post on our Council page in the coming weeks.


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