April 2019

Committees give nurses an opportunity to contribute to patient safety

At CNO, statutory committees are critical to our mandate to protect the public. Committee members collaborate to make key decisions, such as whether a person is qualified to practice nursing in Ontario.

Each year, we appoint RPNs, RNs and NPs to committees such as Discipline; Fitness to Practise; Inquiries, Complaints and Reports; Quality Assurance; and Registration.

In 2018, we improved the way we recruit and appoint nurses to our committees. Even though we had highly qualified members already, we wanted to ensure those coming in have the right experience, knowledge, skills and character to best serve on a committee.

We wanted nurses who understood practice standards and how a nurse’s practice, behaviour and health affect patient safety. We wanted nurses who demonstrate commitment to acting in their patients’ best interest.

This year, we had to fill 10 positions on four committees. We received 48 applications. Our new process helped us to identify many qualified nurses, making this a difficult decision! Ultimately, those appointed included a combination of nurses who were new to committees, and some who were reappointed. When we surveyed nurses who participated in the application process, 97% told us the requirements were clear and 86% said the process helped them articulate their qualifications. We are using their feedback to make improvements to the process for next year.

If you’re interested in joining one of our committees in the future, stay tuned for news on the application process. In the meantime, you can learn more about CNO’s statutory committees by visiting www.cno.org/committee-application.

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