Types of Evidence

You can demonstrate language proficiency through education, registration status, language proficiency testing or experience.

The evidence you provide must be within two years before you receive your certificate of registration from CNO.

You only need to submit one form of evidence to demonstrate you have the level of proficiency to practice nursing safely and competently. For example, if you choose to submit practice experience as a nurse in an English or French setting to demonstrate your proficiency, then you do not need to submit other types of evidence.

CNO Policy: Assessing Proficiency in English or French

Education
  • completing an approved nursing education program in English or French
    • the program must have a theory and clinical component
    • the program can be in any jurisdiction
  • completing additional nursing education in English or French
  • completing a health care or health care support program in English or French in Canada
 Registration
  • a current nursing certificate of registration with CNO or in another Canadian jurisdiction
  • having held a nursing certificate of registration with CNO or in another Canadian jurisdiction within the last two years
Language Test
Experience
  • practice experience as a nurse in an English or French setting
    • nursing services must be provided in English or French
    • primary language used to communicate with patient population is English or French
    • practice experience includes clinical and non-clinical   
    • CNO will consider practice experiences in both paid and volunteer roles
  • experience providing health or health support services in English or French in Canada
Requesting an Extension

You can request an extension of the timeframe if your evidence of language proficiency falls outside the normal two-year timeframe (e.g., if you want your program completion date from more than two years ago to be extended to meet the language proficiency requirement). This timeframe may be extended by the Registration Committee.

If your extension request is not granted, then you will have to meet the requirement through another option, such as writing an approved language proficiency test.

Page last reviewed March 22, 2022