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Changes coming to CNO’s Language Proficiency Policy

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is responsible for protecting public safety through the promotion of safe nursing practice in Ontario.

As part of a suite of ongoing efforts to modernize our application and assessment processes, we’re introducing changes to our Language Proficiency Policy to further enhance public safety and make the process more efficient for applicants.

“We know that strong communication and language skills are foundational competencies for quality care,” said Carol Timmings, Chief Quality Officer at CNO. “This change will allow applicants to demonstrate language proficiency, in English or French, in a number of new ways, reflecting changes in the profession and the ever-evolving nature of world-class nursing care available here in Ontario.” 

CNO will be implementing a new Language Proficiency Policy as a first step towards modernizing CNO’s applicant assessment process. The new policy enables applicants registering to practice as nurses in Ontario to provide evidence of language proficiency in English or French through a practice experience in a health care related setting in Canada.

“Ensuring nurses have the appropriate language skills is an important registration requirement that must be met by all applicants,” says Anne Marie Shin, Director of Professional Practice. “Modernizing our language proficiency policy streamlines and reduces registration processing times for applicants. This strikes a balance between public protection and fairness to the applicants.”

Demonstrating language proficiency through practice experience is one of several ways applicants will be able to demonstrate their skills in English or French. Other ways include education, registration in another Canadian jurisdiction or successful completion of a CNO approved language proficiency test.

For more information on the changes to Language Proficiency Policy, read the Modernizing Applicant Assessment on CNO’s Trending Topics.

Page last reviewed January 04, 2022