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Supervised Practice Experience - FAQ

Do I have to practice nursing for a minimum number of hours to meet the Supervised Practice Experience requirement?

No. CNO does not specify the number of hours that a nurse must practice to complete the SPE. The time period is determined by the individual nurse, with their sponsoring organization, based on their learning needs and will vary depending on a nurse’s experience, knowledge and skill level. While one nurse may need several weeks to refresh, another nurse may need less or more time.

Are sponsoring organizations required to pay a nurse during the Supervised Practice Experience?  

No, the sponsoring organization is not required to pay. The decision to remunerate is up to the sponsoring organization. 

Are the learning needs reviewed and approved by anyone at CNO to ensure they are appropriate? 

CNO does not assess or approve the learning needs that a nurse has identified for their SPE. Each nurse is responsible for reflecting and determining their own unique learning needs based on a variety of factors, such as experience, education, time in or away from the role, etc.

In order to determine if our organization can meet a nurse’s learning needs, is it possible to see the nurse’s learning plan prior to agreeing to act as an SPE?

Each sponsoring organization is responsible for determining whether it is able to support a nurse completing an SPE, including what it may require from the nurse in order to do so – this may include a learning plan. 

Are there pre-approved sponsoring organizations?

No. A nurse is responsible for identifying an appropriate organization to meet their learning needs. CNO reviews each SPE application on a case-by-case basis.

Can CNO deny an application?

Yes, CNO can deny an application. When an application is denied, CNO will inform the nurse about its decision and the reasons.

Can a sponsoring organization be forced into being the sponsor of a nurse’s Supervised Practice Experience?

The decision of an organization to support a nurse’s SPE is voluntary. CNO does not mandate or require any organization to sponsor a nurse’s SPE.

What is the sponsoring organization accountable for when they sign off that the nurse has completed the SPE? Does signing off mean the sponsoring organization confirms that the nurse has met the requirements to be a reinstated by CNO?

The sponsoring organization is required to confirm that the nurse has completed the requirements of the SPE as outlined in the Information for Sponsoring Organization & Supervisor. When completing the Supervised Practice Experience Completion Form, if the organization answers “no” to the question about whether they would re-employ the nurse, it should include information about any concerns they have about the nurse’s practice, conduct or health. However, it is CNO’s responsibility to make the determination whether the nurse has met the requirements to reinstate in the General Class.

What resources are available for a sponsoring organization to support the SPE nurse?

Nurses can complete SPE’s in a variety of practice settings. Therefore, the sponsoring organization is in the best position to identify the appropriate resources to support the SPE nurse. As a starting point, the resources may look similar to what the sponsoring organization would provide to a new staff member in orientation, but will also depend on the needs of the individual nurse.  If you are looking for resources you can use as a sponsoring organization to help the nurse understand CNO standards and how to apply them to their practice, you may refer to CNO’s Standards & Learning page.

What if I have a concern about a nurse who is participating in the SPE?

You can read more about what and when to report your concerns to CNO from our Reporting Guide.


Page last reviewed August 19, 2020