May 2023

CNO celebrates Nursing Week 2023

A thank you from CNO CEO Silvie Crawford

During this week when we celebrate nurses nationally, at the provincial level and locally, we want to share a message from Silvie Crawford, CNO’s Executive Director and CEO, who wants to personally thank nurses and to talk about the Nursing Week theme for 2023: Our Nurses. Our Future

First of all, I want to say thank you to you, the nurses of Ontario. You make a difference every day. You are always there for us and deserve our thanks and support, not just this week, but every week. I appreciate your dedication, compassion, contributions, and the important role you play in the health of all Ontarians.

You are our nurses.

I also want to acknowledge that CNO understands the current challenges. We have a number of nurses working at CNO, myself included, who have worked in different practice settings. We can appreciate what you are going through in this current health care environment. We understand what it’s like to be in the field and to feel the pressure. It is this understanding that helps us support your practice to ensure patient safety.

We know that nurses prioritize caring for others and that you run the risk of not taking care of yourselves. Please take care of yourself, check in with your colleagues, and seek the resources you need. Our purpose is public safety while responding to the health care system and public needs. By developing resources to support nurses to practice safely we inherently protect the public.

The Nurses’ Health Program, or NHP for short, is one of those important resources. I am fiercely proud as a nurse that CNO is part of this collaborative program. NHP is voluntary, and available to Ontario nurses for the treatment of mental health and/or substance use challenges. With increasing stressors in the work environment and in our daily lives, it's essential that nurses have access to support and treatment too. This matters.

CNO has also worked hard to create programs that support nurses in the workplace. Another program that I am proud of is the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership. We launched this innovative solution in early 2022 in partnership with Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health. The program matches applicants with nursing employers to help them meet the evidence of practice and language proficiency requirements for registering with CNO. We have been able to increase nursing resources while maintaining our focus on public safety; and you have new colleagues that have the knowledge and skill to practice safely alongside you.

In the past two years, we have had rapidly changing health care challenges. We are proud of the work we did to meet those challenges, but especially proud of the support that nurses have provided these applicants. This demonstrates your leadership in action through your coaching and mentoring and the contribution this makes to self regulation in the profession.

And that leads me to the second part of the 2023 Nursing Week theme: Our future. CNO has a proud 60-year history of producing innovative regulatory and process outcomes that have changed health care in Ontario and continue to be important today. For example, establishing the extended class of Nurse Practitioners and their expanded scope. We are always looking to the horizon for evolving advances, so we are well positioned to support nurses into the future.

I like to think of it as upstream regulation: We are one step ahead, so we can support nurses to navigate change safely. How? We collaborate with key stakeholders, including the educational sector, employers, government, health care regulators, and national and international regulatory bodies. Through this engagement, we can understand the trends, issues and the potential impact on nursing practice and public safety. With this knowledge, we can continue to innovate and be future-thinking. Together, we can be partners in safety to create solutions and make a difference in our efforts to protect the public.

CNO remains committed to the efforts necessary to guide practice standards that support our public safety mandate. There are so many diverse opportunities for nurses in practice and the range of nursing roles and scope will continue to grow. This growth and advancement will lead to new ways to promote accessibility across the health care sector, including in underserviced communities.

But we can’t do it without you, our nurses.

Wishing you all a happy Nursing Week and a sincere thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication to the nursing profession,

Silvie Crawford,
Executive Director and CEO of CNO, (RN, BHScN, LLM - Health Law)



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