Language Proficiency: Other Types of Evidence

If you are not able to demonstrate language proficiency through your nursing program, registration status, or your results on a language proficiency test, then the following types of evidence may also be considered by CNO.

Additional Nursing Education

If you were asked by CNO to complete additional education to meet the evidence of practice requirement or you completed other nursing education within the last two years, in English or French, then CNO will consider whether that additional education meets the language proficiency requirement.

The additional education must include:

  • a minimum 200 hours of clinical instruction in the program in English or French
  • evidence the primary language used for theory and clinical instruction was English or French, and that the primary language of the educational institution was English or French
  • evidence that theory instruction and clinical instruction were not completed through PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition)  exclusively and
  • evidence the program was not exclusively an online or distance education program exclusively. 

The following are types of information CNO may need to determine if you meet the language proficiency requirement:

  1. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Applicant Form
  2. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Education Form
  3. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Summary of Evidence Form
Completion of Non-Nursing Program

If you have completed a non-nursing program at a college or university within the last two years, in English or French, CNO will consider whether this education meets the language proficiency requirement. 

The education must meet the following criteria:  

  • theory instruction and clinical/practicum/internship placement was provided in English or French
  • the primary language of the college or university was English or French
  • you completed a minimum of 200 hours in that clinical, practicum, or internship placement in English or French
  • the program was not exclusively an online or distance education program and
  • theory instruction and clinical/practicum/internship placement instruction was not delivered exclusively through PLAR. 

The following are types of information CNO may need to determine if you meet the language proficiency requirement:

  1. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Applicant Form
  2. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Education Form
  3. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Summary of Evidence Form
Nursing Experience

If you have worked or volunteered as a nurse in another jurisdiction within the last two years, in English or French, CNO will consider whether your experience meets the language proficiency requirement.

Your nursing experience must meet the following criteria:

  • nursing services were provided in English or French
  • the primary language used in the practice setting was English or French
  • the primary language of the patient population was English or French

CNO will also consider nurses who taught courses in nursing or another health profession at the college or university level as evidence of language proficiency if: 

  • the profession was regulated in the jurisdiction in which the post-secondary institution was located at the time you taught
  • the primary language used by you for that teaching was English or French
  • the primary language used for theory and clinical instruction was English or French, and the primary language of the institution was English or French
  • the course(s) taught by you were not delivered online or through distance education exclusively. 

Note: the theory course cannot be an independent reading, research, or thesis course where you taught students individually (i.e., through a one-on-one supervisory role). If this is the case, then you must provide evidence of having taught other seminar or lecture courses, or provide some other evidence of language proficiency, so that all areas of language (reading, writing, listening, speaking) can be assessed adequately.

The following are types of information CNO may need to determine if you meet the language proficiency requirement. (Please note: you must ask the organization to send the documents directly to CNO.)

  1. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Applicant Form
  2. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Experience Form
  3. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Summary of Evidence Form 
Non-Nursing Experience

If you have non-nursing work or volunteer experience in Ontario or another jurisdiction within the last two years in English or French, CNO will consider whether your experience meets the evidence of language proficiency requirement.

Your experience must meet the following criteria:

  • your roles and responsibilities or services were provided in English or French
  • the primary language used by the organization or place where you worked or volunteered was English or French
  • the primary language of the clients was English or French
  • your roles and responsibilities enabled gave you a chance to use your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in different ways and in a variety of situations including complex, demanding and unpredictable situations.

The following are types of information CNO may need to determine if you meet the language proficiency requirement. (Please note: you must ask the organization to send the documents directly to CNO.)

  1. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Applicant Form
  2. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Experience Form
  3. Evidence of Language Proficiency – Summary of Evidence Form

Note: CNO reserves the right to refer your application to the Registration Committee for review if it determines that any evidence of language proficiency you provide does not meet specified criteria.

Review by the Registration Committee

Applicants also have the option to provide evidence of language proficiency that doesn’t fall under any of the categories listed above.

For more information, read Review by Registration Committee.

Page last reviewed March 08, 2021