Media Room

Welcome to the College of Nurses of Ontario's Media Room. Here, you will find general information about the College, its mandate and public protection function for press use. For information not found here, contact the College's Communications Department at The College will acknowledge media contacts within 24 hours during regular business hours. news room

What is the College of Nurses of Ontario?

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is the regulator of the nursing profession in Ontario. It is not a school or a nursing association. The College acts in the public interest by:

  •     assessing qualifications and registering individuals who want to practice nursing in Ontario.
  •     setting the practice standards of the profession that nurses in Ontario are expected to meet.
  •     promoting nurses' continuing competence through a quality assurance program.
  •     holding nurses accountable to those standards by addressing complaints or reports about nursing care.

When was the College established?

The College was founded in 1963. By establishing the College, the Ontario government was acknowledging that the nursing profession had the ability to govern itself and put the public's well-being ahead of professional interests.

What is the College's mission?

The College's mission is to regulate nursing in the public interest.

What is the College vision?

The College's vision is to lead in regulatory excellence.

How many nurses are registered with the College?

There are approximately 160,000 nurses registered with the College. Anyone who wants to use a nursing-related title (i.e., Registered Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse or Nurse Practitioner) must become a member of the College. Visit the Statistics section for more information about the College's nurse membership.

 How can I confirm whether a person is a nurse?

 What information is publicly available about nurses?

 What is an "illegal practitioner"?

 Why can't the College reveal details about an investigation?

 When would information gathered during an investigation become public?

 When are hearings scheduled, and can the public or press attend?

 Where are hearing results found?

 What penalties can be imposed?

 How does the College deal with Sexual Abuse?


Page last reviewed October 26, 2016