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First-ever Workforce Census a success

With its first-ever Workforce Census under its belt, CNO is looking forward to making meaningful change in the health care system. Using the data nurses provided to us, we will address diversity, equity and inclusion issues that nurses face, and focus on areas requiring attention.

But first, we have 31,000 nurses to thank—our many registrants who completed the census earlier this year. Thanks to their participation, we were able to collect a robust set of new data to inform our work.

“On behalf of CNO, thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourselves and your experience working in health care,” said Brent Knowles, Director, Analytics. “Your participation is extremely valuable—to us as well as the entire system.”

CNO will work with partners to remove barriers in health care and create more equitable and inclusive policies for nurses. We have much to learn from this census about the health care system, our role as a regulator, and steps we can all take to address the barriers and biases that nurses in Ontario experience.

We are grateful to all our valuable partners who helped develop and promote the census: Canadian Black Nurses Alliance (CBNA), IPHCC, Black Nurses Task Force and Pan-Canadian Association of Nurses of African Descent (Ontario Black Nurses Network and Canadian Black Nurses Network). CNO will continue to collaborate with equity-deserving groups, to ensure we’re asking appropriate questions and measuring the right data in the best way.

“Without empirical data, change and the measurement of its impact are impossible,” stated Ovie Onagbeboma, RN, and CEO, CBNA. “This is an opportunity to substantiate the disparities and discrimination members experience, paving the way for systemic change. 

“Many members have spoken up, but their voices have not been heard—CBNA values each voice, as expressed by our slogan, ‘We See You’. This data serves to materialize those voices. Additionally, collecting data on its own does not ensure substantial necessary change. So it’s pertinent for this data to inform and direct professional standards and best practice guidelines.” 

For Dr. Nicole Blackman, RN, D.NP and Director of Integrated Care and Clinical Services, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC), the link between data and progress is clear. “Knowing how many Indigenous nurses there are providing care will be the first step forward in helping combat anti-Indigenous racism. Having an actual number will allow us to advocate for targeted approaches for Indigenous health care providers and nursing. Without any sort of tool to give us a picture of what’s happening, we can’t advocate for more.” 

CNO is the authoritative source of province-wide data about nursing registration, application and employment in Ontario. Collecting and analyzing data about nursing registration is one way CNO achieves its purpose to protect the public by promoting safe nursing practice. Visit cno.org/census for updates, as well as timelines for releasing the results.

Page last reviewed May 08, 2024