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Partners in patient safety

Patient safety is a collective responsibility that involves partnership and support from other stakeholders and the public.

CNO partners with multiple stakeholders who have different roles in the nursing profession.  Together we support safe nursing practice, and we each have a role in supporting quality nursing practice.

CNO often gets questions that need to be directed to one of our partners, because it is not within our mandate or scope to do so. It is important, as a nurse, to understand the roles of our system partners so that you know who to go to for questions and concerns.

System Partner  Role Questions Addressed
Employers Employers hire and pay nurses for their work based upon their agreed terms. Employers create policies and procedures that support nursing roles within their specific practice setting. Employers have a role to support and provide training and development to staff related to the practice setting.
  • Labour relations
  • Employment issues
  • Compensation
  • Workload
  • Role and responsibilities
Unions  Unions act to proactively improve everyday working conditions by joining workers together to pursue policies and goals beneficial to all. Unions allow workers a say in changing workplace conditions and solving workplace issues. 
  • Collective agreements
  • Benefits, privileges, rights and obligations agreed by the union with your employer
Associations Associations advocate for nurses and collaborate with decision makers to ensure nurses voices are heard on key professional practice and health policy issues. Associations often provide educational resources, best practice guidelines and tools for nurses to promote excellence in nursing practice.
  • Insurance (professional liability)
  • Nursing advocacy
  • Best practice guidelines

By law, CNO is required to set the entry to practice requirements, continued competency requirements and establish, promote and enforce the standards of practice for the nursing profession.

We regulate the profession in the interest of public protection.

  • Scope of practice
  • Controlled acts
  • Continuing competence
  • Quality assurance
  • Complaints or reports
  • Entry-to-practice
  • Registration (applying, reinstating, renewing or resigning)
  • Membership fees
  • Nursing education program approval
  • Registration exams
Page last reviewed March 14, 2022