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Identifying barriers for internationally educated applicants

Toronto, Ont. Aug. 11, 2022 – The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) has launched a survey of 3,344 internationally educated applicants to identify any barriers they may face related to writing their registration exam to become a nurse.  

Recent CNO data show there is a group of applicants who is eligible to write the registration exam but hasn’t yet done so. Completing the exam is needed to register as a nurse in Ontario. 

“It is critical that we understand the reasons why this many applicants are not availing themselves of the opportunity to take the exam and finalize their full nursing registration with CNO,” says Carol Timmings, acting Executive Director and CEO. “These findings will allow us to identify potential enablers and barriers for internationally educated applicants in completing their individual accountability in the registration process.” 

We have sent an email to all exam eligible applicants. Responses from the survey will provide CNO with the information we need to work with our partners in the health care system to break down the barriers some applicants face.  

“There may be a number of areas where applicants are in need of additional support,” says Timmings. “It is our intent to share these insights with government, in the event that any of the potential barriers identified are amenable to a system wide solution.”  

The survey responses are confidential and will not affect the applicant's application in any way. CNO will only report on the combined data.  

CNO is working relentlessly to innovate its registration processes to safely register as many qualified nurses as possible. Earlier this year, CNO launched the Supervised Practice Education Partnership, which has helped us break records for the number of internationally educated nurses we are registering. Next week, CNO will launch a new initiative in collaboration with several colleges and universities to support educational opportunities for internationally educated applicants.  

“We are committed to working with the Ontario government and all our system partners to find solutions so the people of this province can continue to receive safe nursing care — even during a time of crisis,” says Timmings.   

Visit CNO’s Examination web page for more information on registration examinations. 

Bradley Hammond 
Manager, Communications 
647 988 6064 





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Page last reviewed August 11, 2022