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CNO’s Scope of Practice standard takes effect

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) protects the public by promoting safe nursing practice. This includes setting and maintaining practice standards and guidelines that support and ensure all nurses practice safely and competently.

On June 8, 2023, Council unanimously approved a Scope of Practice standard that outlines nurses’ legislative accountabilities and other key requirements nurses need to consider when deciding whether to perform an activity. Nurses are now accountable to this new practice standard.

“Nursing is a dynamic and ever-evolving profession,” said Catriona Mill, Manager of Practice Quality at CNO “and nurses deserve a Scope of Practice standard that reflects the modern, evolving nature of the profession, while keeping client safety front and centre.”

The Scope of Practice standard outlines accountabilities under three concepts; authority, competence and the context in which a nurse works. It also integrates key information and replaces CNO’s practice standard, Decision About Procedures and Authority and CNO guidelines; Authorizing Mechanisms and RN and RPN Practice: The Client, the Nurse and the Environment (referred to as the Three Factor Framework).

To help nurses understand the Scope of Practice standard and how to apply it in practice, we’re hosting virtual information sessions. We are also updating learning resources for nurses.

The Scope of Practice standard is available on our Standards and Learning webpage. If you have specific questions related to the Scope of Practice standard, contact Practice Support.

Page last reviewed July 01, 2023