October 2020

Make an impact: Join a committee

To protect the public by supporting safe practice, CNO needs nurses from all areas of practice to bring their unique and valuable insights to the table. Each fall, CNO invites RPNs, RNs and NPs to serve on a statutory committee. It’s an opportunity for nurses to contribute to regulatory processes that protect patients.

Wondering what it’s like being on a committee? Read our interviews with three committee members who comment on their experience.

Ashley Fox 

Ashley Fox, RPN, works in home care and previously practiced in retirement homes and long-term care

Serving on a committee is a significant commitment, but one that contributes to patient safety in Ontario. Ashley Fox, RPN and Council Vice-President, currently serves in two statutory committees. Ashley enjoys “making a difference in care delivery for patients and their loved ones.” Nurses’ competencies contribute to committees’ effectiveness by “allowing us to make unbiased, unconflicted decisions, because we are acting in the public interest and assuring patient safety.”

She adds, “I enjoy the deliberations involved with committee work because it opens your
mind to different perspectives or to avenues for solving problems and making decisions.
But most of all I enjoy making a difference; I’ve seen how our work affects the care that I
and my other nursing colleagues deliver to patients.”

We need nurses from all areas of practice who share Ashley’s commitment to safe nursing care
and can bring unique, valuable insights to the table.

“It’s been rewarding from the get-go,” says Sherry Simo, RPN and Panel Chair for the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee. “It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have, it’s an opportunity to shape yourself as a professional by broadening your understanding of the profession as a whole and gaining appreciation for the value of nursing regulation. There is a lot of responsibility — you are making decisions that impact nurses and protect the public.”

Sherry Simo

Sherry Simo, RPN, practices occupational health nursing


Cheryl Evans 

Cheryl Evans, RN, is a nursing professional practice and policy advisor at St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and an assistant clinical professor at McMaster University’s School of Nursing

“By participating in nursing regulation, we have an opportunity to ensure that all Ontarians receive the best possible nursing care as we contribute to decision-making that promotes public safety,” says Cheryl Evans, RN and Panel Chair of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, and previous member of the Discipline Committee. “It is an opportunity to truly make a difference!”

Being on a CNO committee does take commitment in time, so you need your employer on board. In return, you gain experience, knowledge and skills to take forward in your career.

We invite you to expand your horizons and join a committee. You’ll be glad you did.

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