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Modernizing Applicant Assessment

CNO is working on updating the way applicants can meet their nursing registration requirements to ensure application assessment processes are informed, fair, inclusive and effective to contribute to improved access to safe nursing care.

Refer to this page regularly to be notified about ongoing work on the Modernizing Applicant Assessments project.

Why is CNO updating application requirements?

CNO is accountable for ensuring that nurses are qualified and safe to practice. For applicants, our processes must be transparent, impartial and fair, regardless of where in the world they begin their nursing journey.

We understand that the application process can be lengthy and complex for many international applicants, which has highlighted the need to review our processes, so that we can identify opportunities to make meaningful improvements.

Doing so will improve the applicant experience by streamlining and reducing delays in the application assessment process, which will ultimately improve wait times for applicants to become registered.

What is the goal of the updated requirements?

The goal of updating our requirements is to:

  • Implement efficiencies in how we assess the information for applications,
  • Update our policies related to four registration requirements:
    1. Language Proficiency
    2. Evidence of Practice
    3. Nursing Education
    4. Police Criminal Record Check
  • And, improve the time it takes for you to become eligible to register in Ontario.

Are the requirements changing?

The Language Proficiency, Evidence of Practice, Nursing Education, and Police Criminal Record Check requirements remain in place, however the options that are available to applicants to demonstrate how they satisfy these requirements continue to be updated. 

We are launching changes to our portal to make it more efficient for applicants to declare new information as it relates to their nursing education, nursing practice, other nursing registrations and nursing examinations.

New processes applicants can complete online include:

  • adding and updating information to the application
  • uploading documents at any time as long as the application is open, and
  • viewing the status of documents received from third parties or uploaded by an applicant

As part of our ongoing efforts to modernize our application and assessment processes, we have updated our Police Criminal Record Check (PCRC) policy to create efficiencies and reduce duplication when applicants are required to obtain an International PCRC. The new policy recognizes the PCRC provided to immigration Canada and eliminates the need for internationally educated applicants to provide CNO an additional check if they have remained in Canada since their immigration status was granted.

 In March 2022, CNO  launched a new Language Proficiency Policy as part of a suite of ongoing efforts to enhance options for meeting language proficiency.

The  policy ensures nurses have the proficiency required to practice nursing in Ontario.  Read Proficiency in English or French for more details.

Facilitating ways in which applicants can meet their Evidence of Practice requirements is critical to modernizing the applicant registration process. One way is increasing opportunities for applicants to complete a supervised practice experience in Ontario that will provide the opportunity for applicants to apply CNO’s standards of practice and meet the Evidence of Practice requirement.

 The Supervised Practice Experience Partnership  program  provides the opportunity for eligible applicants to meet their Evidence of Practice requirement for registration to practice as a nurse.

Read more about the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership

CNO is currently engaging partners across health care, government, and academia to address the challenges internationally educated applicants are experiencing in meeting the education requirement for registration.

Improved access to appropriate educational opportunities will enable applicants to complete this requirement and progress through their journey to register and be able to practice as a nurse efficiently.

As a first step, CNO has identified and collaborated with schools who currently offer nursing education programs and courses that meet the educational needs of internationally educated applicants.

Applicants can review these suggested programs and courses online and compare the competencies of each course to the learning needs outlined in their Competency Assessment Form.

From there, applicants can best determine which program or course can best meet their learning needs and enroll in the program.

Read Continuing additional education and related FAQs for more information. 




To request an accessible version of any document on this page, please contact us.

Page last reviewed March 09, 2023