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Q&As: Changes to the Register
What additional information became available about nurses in December 2015?
The following information started to become available on Find a Nurse on Dec. 15, 2015:
- Discipline hearing status
- Full Notice of Hearing
- Criminal findings of guilt
- Bail conditions
- Remedial Activities
- Registrations in other jurisdictions
- Discipline findings in other jurisdictions
- Criminal charges relevant to the nurse’s practice
- Health facility privileges (for Nurse Practitioners)
What other information is available publicly on Find a Nurse?
Information about nurses' registration history, their current registration status, their most recent business address, allegations related to upcoming hearings and outcomes resulting from disciplinary proceedings can also be found on Find a Nurse.
Are some matters not being made public?
Information about matters considered by the College to be "low risk" to the public is not being released. These include complaints and reports on which the College takes no action (i.e., because the complaint was unfounded), as well as matters that are addressed through advice from a College committee or panel. Nurses' personal information, like home addresses or emails, are also not made public.
How did regulators decide what information would and would not be made public?
A set of transparency principles developed by the members of AGRE helped guide decision-making about what information would and would not be made public. Discussions were conducted with a focus on providing information that is relevant, credible and accurate, and balances the principles of public protection with fairness and privacy for nurses and complainants.
What are the benefits of making this information public?
Making more information available allows members of the public to make informed decisions about who provides their care, and gives employers more information about who they are hiring. It also allows care providers to demonstrate that they actively participate in addressing issues about their practice and understand their accountabilities as health professionals.
Were nurses and the public consulted about this change?
Nurses had several opportunities to provide feedback on these changes during 2015 through The Standard, the College’s magazine, and other vehicles.
Over 3,000 Ontarians randomly selected by the College and other health regulators in March 2014 were surveyed. Those surveyed were asked what they felt they needed to know to make informed decisions about health care providers. Over 80 percent of respondents said that they would want to know either ‘some’ or ‘complete’ details about complaints made against nurses, doctors, dentists and other health care providers.
Are a large number of nurses being affected by these changes?
No, a small number of nurses have been affected by the release of additional information. Only nurses facing criminal charges, or a complaint or report addressed through a process with public outcomes, will have information added to their profile on Find a Nurse. A very low percentage of Ontario's 175,000 nurses ever become involved in a professional conduct matter at the College. An even smaller percentage have faced criminal charges that the College considers relevant to their suitability to practice nursing.