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Working with government to support health care

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is committed to working with our partners in government to support the health care system. This includes collaborating across the system to reduce barriers to timely registration.

One way we are doing this is with the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership (SPEP), which we launched with Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health. SPEP helps internationally educated applicants more efficiently meet two of the eight registration requirements by matching them with employers so they can participate in a supervised practice experience.

“SPEP is another regulatory innovation that is helping nurses enter the health care system,” said Silvie Crawford, CNO’s Executive Director and CEO. “That's why we were so pleased to see this important partnership in the government’s recent Fall Economic Statement.”

SPEP supports practice assessment in partnership with nurse employers. Since the program started in 2022, we have matched more than 3,000 applicants with employers, enabling more than 2,500 nurses to register with CNO.

In some of these cases, SPEP provides the opportunity to recruit nurses to remote or rural areas where even one new Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse can make a difference. To date, 170 applicants who said they were willing to relocate have been matched to employers in northern and rural communities.

SPEP is one of a number of CNO initiatives that have resulted in registering increased numbers of nurses, including internationally educated nurses (IENs), to enter the workforce. We persist in finding new and innovative solutions for registering IENs, reducing barriers to registration and addressing current health human workforce challenges.

It's all part of a larger goal of modernizing CNO’s registration processes to help address health human resource needs in the province. We continue to collaborate with government to make regulatory and legislative changes that support timely registration of nurses, whether applicants are educated in Canada or internationally.

“We all have a role to play to support safe patient care. Ours includes registering nurses with the knowledge, skill and judgment to practice safely in Ontario,” Crawford added.

For the most current registration data, visit our self-serve Nursing Data Dashboard.

Page last reviewed November 02, 2023