October 2021

What did Council decide?

CNO’s board of directors, which is called Council, meets quarterly to provide oversight, insight and foresight into CNO’s strategic direction. At its September 30 meeting, Council discussed work to date on modernizing standards, approved six new nursing education programs, appointed their first nominating committee — and more!

New nursing programs: preliminary approval

Council granted preliminary approval to these new nursing programs:

  • Loyalist College:

    • Direct Entry Full Program – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    • Pre-Health Education Entry Specified Program – Registered Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

  • Seneca College:

    • Direct Entry Full Program – Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing

    • Pre-Health Education Entry Specified Program – Registered Practical Nurse Bridge to BSCN Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing 

  • Canadore College:

    • Direct Entry Full Program – Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing Program

    • Pre-Health Education Entry Specified Program – Registered Practical Nurse to Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing Bridging Program

These programs are being implemented after a recent regulation amendment that permits Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) to independently offer baccalaureate programs rather than requiring the college to collaborate with a university.

All new nursing programs in Ontario must receive preliminary approval from CNO’s Council before admitting students. Preliminary approval includes a detailed review of the program’s curriculum. One year after the first cohort of students have graduated, we will comprehensively review these programs. For more information, check out our Program Approval page.

Nominating Committee members

A key foundation of Council’s Governance Vision is that participants in governance and statutory activities have the competencies and attributes needed for their roles. For the last three years, the new members of our statutory committees have been appointed based on a competency assessment.

Now, we are establishing a competency-based Nominating Committee that will assist us in making competency-based committee appointments — and eventually the appointment of our restructured Board — that are central to Council’s Governance Vision.

With support from an independent third-party consultant, we selected members of our first Nominating Committee for Council. This group meets all the competencies required and, we believe, will work together well as a team. Based on this assessment, Council appointed the following members to the Interim Nominating Committee:

  • Diane Ballantyne to June 2024

  • Sue Haywood to June 2024

  • Terry Holland to June 2022

As immediate past President of Council, Cheryl Evans will act as the committee’s first chair. The Nominating Committee will begin meeting in the New Year:

Strategy 2021-2024 in action

Council received updates from CNO staff on three ways we are putting our Strategic Plan into action: through modernizing applicant assessment, modernizing the practice standards and updating our QA Program.

Modernizing applicant assessment
Applicant assessment is part of our entry-to-practice function, which is our commitment to the public that individuals who become nurses in Ontario have the knowledge, skill, judgment and character to practice safely and ethically. We are modernizing our processes to ensure they are transparent, objective, impartial and fair, regardless of where in the world the applicants begin their nursing journey.

Modernizing applicant assessment will focus on four requirements: nursing education, evidence of practice, language proficiency and police record checks. This year, we made significant progress working with experts to assess the current state for each of the four requirements. We also mapped each process to identify opportunities for improvements and developed the future state for all four registration requirements. When implemented, these changes will translate into genuine benefits for applicants on their journey to registration.

We will begin implementing modernizations to the language proficiency requirement first and hope to start making changes within the next six months. To support successful implementation we will engage applicants, government, academics, employers, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner and other stakeholders.

Modernizing practice standards
Council received an update on the work done to date on the Modernizing Practice Standards project. To date, our work includes:

  • Gathering evidence from other jurisdictions’ frameworks to understand how nurses use standards in their practice

  • Engaging internally with CNO business areas to understand the impact of the framework on regulatory functions

  • Engaging with key external stakeholders including The Citizen’s Advisory Group, Nurse Advisory Group and key informants in diversity, equity and inclusion

We will conduct more stakeholder engagement in 2022. You can learn more about this work on our Trending Topics: Modernizing Standards page.

Quality Assurance Program
Quality Assurance (QA) is a key regulatory function that strengthens the quality of nursing practice through reflection. The program’s approach empowers nurses to maintain their continued competence by reflecting on one’s practice to identify opportunities for learning and growth. Over the next two to three years we will begin to transform the QA program, integrating new components and activities while keeping in mind the evolving nature of the nursing profession.

This year, our focus was to pilot a new approach and process. It emphasized QA as something to do every day in response to changes in practice, instead of a point-in-time activity. A key feature of the program is a new coaching model to guide nurses through QA. Nurses who are selected for QA Practice Assessment will be able to receive optional coaching support with our Peer Assessors. Coaches will engage and support members in thoughtful reflection to identify practice strengths and gaps and apply the standards to their practice.

We also continue to work on a new QA online platform, which will support nurses’ continuous learning through accessible and interactive resources and tools. These features will be rolled out in 2022 and beyond.

Statutory committee appointments

Council confirmed new members appointed to statutory committees, which CNO’s Executive Committee made.

You can see the full membership of each of our committees and learn more about the work they do on our Committees page.

2022 meeting dates

Here are the dates for Council’s quarterly meetings in 2022:

  • Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 3, 2022

  • Tuesday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 8, 2022

  • Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

  • Wednesday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022

If you’d like to watch Council decisions as they happen, tune in on YouTube when we live stream our next meeting in December. 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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