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Evidence of Practice (RN & RPN): Frequently Asked Questions
How can I demonstrate that I meet the evidence of practice requirement?
You can meet the evidence of practice requirement in the following ways:
- working or volunteering as a nurse in a jurisdiction where you are registered, in the same category for which you are applying, within the past 3 years
- completing your original nursing program or additional nursing education in the same category for which you are applying within the past three years. The program or education must include both theory and clinical-based components (e.g. Specialty Certificate with a clinical practicum or Masters in Nursing or Ph.D. with a research/publication outcome)
- achieving the required benchmark scores by completing the Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP) with the Touchstone Institute within the past 3 years (this is a score 3.50 or above on the OSCE and 68% or above on the MCQ) –– this requirement is specific to RN applicants
- completing specified additional nursing education directed by CNO in the same category for which you are applying, which addresses required areas of nursing knowledge, skill and judgment, along with specified hours of supervised clinical practicum within the past 3 years
- practicing as an RN or RPN in the Temporary Class, Emergency Class or Special Assignment Class. Employers must submit to CNO the Verification of Nursing Practice form to confirm your practice.
NOTE: Some CNO applicants may also qualify for the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership to meet the evidence of practice requirement.
I passed the OSCE portion of my IENCAP and failed the MCQ portion, can I use the OSCE to meet evidence of practice?
No. You must pass both portions of the IENCAP within the past 3 years to meet the evidence of practice requirement. To pass the IENCAP, you must score 3.50 or above on the OSCE and 68% or above on the MCQ.
I failed the IENCAP by only a small percentage, can I use previous results along with other information about practice prior to the last three years to meet the requirement?
No. You can only use IENCAP pass results obtained within the past three years. You must obtain a score of 3.50 or above on the OSCE and 68% or above on the MCQ to pass the IENCAP. Also, practice that took place more than three years ago will not be considered for current evidence of practice.
I failed the OSCE but completed additional education to fill my competency gaps, do I meet the practice requirement?
You can submit information about this additional education for CNO to review as long as you completed the education in the last 3 years, and it had a combination of theory and clinical components.
My evidence of recent practice expired, and CNO gave me options to meet this requirement. I chose to complete additional education and I have finished the theory portion only; do I meet the practice requirement?
No. You are required to complete both theory and clinical components of the additional education as directed by CNO.
Will practicing as an RPN meet the RN evidence of practice requirement?
According to the Nursing Act and CNO’s Standards and Guidelines, there are differences between RNs and RPNs in:
- the level of autonomous practice
- the types of patient acuity and complexity that are managed by RNs and RPNs, and
- differences in their authority to initiate controlled acts.
Thus, while your RPN practice has provided you with valuable nursing experience and makes an important contribution in the delivery of health care service, your RPN practice cannot be recognized as practicing as an RN.
I am an applicant who has experienced challenges in moving through the application process in a timely way (applying to NNAS, CNO processes, Touchstone Institute evaluation, etc.) As a result, my evidence of recent practice expired. Can my evidence of practice be extended?
No. All applicants are legally mandated to provide evidence of practice in the past three years. This ensures that CNO protects the public by registering nurses who are current in their nursing knowledge, skill, judgment and practice experience. For this reason, an applicant must meet all other requirements for registration on or before the date on which their evidence of practice expires.
The expiry date is set based on the last date on which an applicant:
- completed nursing education, including a practicum, or
- worked/volunteered as an RN/RPN.
My evidence of recent practice expired because it took a long time to complete my assessment through NNAS, can my evidence of practice be extended?
No. CNO cannot account for any delays in assessments that are done through third parties. Therefore, we cannot extend your evidence of practice requirement.
I am unable to return to a jurisdiction where I am currently registered to update my evidence of practice. Can CNO extend my evidence of practice?
No. CNO has provided you with the option to update your evidence of practice, including either:
- completing additional education that includes theory addressing specific areas and specified hours of supervised clinical practicum in Ontario, or
- returning to practice where you are allowed to legally practice nursing.
We encourage you to contact Ontario nursing schools in your area to find out about programs that will help you meet this requirement. This includes community colleges which offer refresher programs through continuing education.
You may also be eligible to participate in a supervised practice experience in Ontario to meet your Evidence of Practice. Read the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership for more details about the program and eligibility requirements.