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COVID-19: How to register

We at CNO are working quickly to help support Ontario’s health care system during this unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. To enhance Ontario’s nursing resources, we are:

  • expediting registration for Non-Practising nurses, and those who have retired or have an expired registration
  • implementing an emergency class for nurses who work or have worked in other jurisdictions in Canada or the U.S.

The Ministry of Health is looking for experienced health care providers who can help prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Visit their recruitment page for more information.


You can reinstate if you are:

  • A current member of the Non-Practising Class who has practiced nursing within the last three years, or
  • A former CNO member whose membership status is Resigned or Expired, and who has practiced nursing within the last three years.

To apply to reinstate:

  • Complete and submit the online Reinstate my Membership form.
  • You will not be charged a fee to reinstate.
  • Evidence of practice: We may be able to obtain this evidence-of-practice information from our membership system. We’ll contact you if we require further details.
  • Police check: If you are not registered in the Non-Practising Class and have resigned or let your registration expire, you will need to provide a current police criminal record check using the online process. This can usually be completed in 2 to 3 days.
  • Practicing nurses must have professional liability protection. We encouraged you to consult with your employer and/or your professional liability protection provider.

To check your application status

Registration validity

Your registration will be valid until December 31, 2020. At that time, you may choose to renew in the General or Extended Class or move back to the Non-Practising Class or resign your membership with CNO.


You can apply for Emergency Assignment Class if you …

  • are not registered in Ontario, and
  • intend to work in Ontario during the outbreak, and
  • hold a valid RN, RPN/LPN registration in good standing in another Canadian or U.S. jurisdiction, and
  • you have completed a foundational nursing program that was approved by the jurisdiction in which you are registered, and
  • have evidence of practice (worked as an RN or RPN/LPN or completed a clinical practicum during your nursing program) in the last three years, and
  • are proficient in English or French. 

If you are an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) who has applied to CNO and met the Emergency Assignment Class requirements, CNO will contact you by email.

To apply for the Emergency Assignment Class

  • We will send you an email confirming receipt of your application and details of next steps.
  • We are working as quickly as possible to register into the Emergency Assignment Class those who qualify.

Registration term

Registration in the Emergency Assignment Class will be valid for 60 days, but can be extended if the need continues.

After the emergency is over, applications to CNO will then follow our normal processes.

  • A variety of activities or situations exist where a resigned or retired nurse could provide support. For example, a retired nurse volunteer can help in screening processes.
  • Only individuals registered with CNO can provide nursing care in Ontario. This includes any activity or situation (directly or indirectly) where you hold yourself out as a nurse or qualified to provide nursing services as described in the Nursing Act, 1991 Fact Sheet. For more information about what nursing practice is, please visit FAQs in the Declaration of Practice section in Ask Practice.
  • For more information, see the How you can help during the COVID-19 Pandemic page.
  • The Ministry of Health is looking for experienced health care providers who can help prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Visit their recruitment page for more information.
Page last reviewed March 31, 2020