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New Program Approval launched!

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is excited to officially launch our new Nursing Education Program Approval process for approving all entry-level nursing education programs (Practical Nursing, Baccalaureate Nursing and Nurse Practitioner) in Ontario.

Approving nursing education programs is one way we meet our mandate of protecting the public. Using a standardized approach, the new process confirms all approved nursing programs meet comprehensive standards so that graduates are prepared to practise safely, competently and ethically. It also provides an objective foundation to effectively evaluate all nursing education programs and ensures our decision-making processes are clear and transparent.

Development of this new process started in 2014 and was refined based on consultation and evidence early this year. Various methods were used to validate, test and finalize the program approval process, including a pilot for approving the programs of six nursing schools in 2017-2018. Two final outcome indicators, graduate and preceptor perceptions of graduate readiness to practice are currently being developed and will be added in 2020.

Under the new framework, we will evaluate the structure, curriculum and outcomes of nursing programs every seven years. Nursing programs must meet or exceed the requirements to receive approval status. Outcome indicators will be monitored annually to maintain program approval.

We are currently using the new program approval process to evaluate Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs. Baccalaureate Nursing (Registered Nurse) programs will follow in 2019 and Practical Nursing (RPN) programs in 2020.

You can learn more about our nursing education program approval at www.cno.org/programapproval.

Page last reviewed October 02, 2018