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Modernizing Applicant Assessment

CNO is working on updating the way applicants can meet their nursing registration requirements to ensure application assessment processes are informed, fair, inclusive and effective to contribute to improved access to safe nursing care.

Refer to this page regularly to be notified about ongoing work on the Modernizing Applicant Assessments project.

Why is CNO updating application requirements?

CNO is accountable for ensuring that nurses are qualified and safe to practice. For applicants, our processes must be transparent, impartial and fair, regardless of where in the world they begin their nursing journey.

We understand that the application process can be lengthy and complex for many international applicants, with the COVID-19 pandemic only increasing these challenges. We have identified that our applicants are experiencing increased wait times, which has highlighted the need to review our processes, so that we can identify opportunities to make meaningful improvements.

Doing so will improve the applicant experience by streamlining and reducing delays in the application assessment process, which will ultimately improve wait times for applicants to become registered.

What is the goal of the updated requirements?

The goal of updating our requirements is to:

  • Implement efficiencies in how we assess the information for applications,
  • Update our policies related to four registration requirements:
    1. Language Proficiency
    2. Evidence of Practice
    3. Nursing Education
    4. Police Criminal Record Check
  • And, improve the time it takes for you to become eligible to register in Ontario.

Are the requirements changing?

The Language Proficiency, Evidence of Practice, Nursing Education, and Police Criminal Record Check requirements remain in place, however the options that are available to applicants to demonstrate how they satisfy these requirements are being updated. 

As part of a suite of ongoing efforts to modernize our application and assessment processes, CNO has a new Language Proficiency Policy.

The new policy will ensure nurses have the proficiency required to practice nursing in Ontario.  Read Proficiency in English or French for more details.

Facilitating ways in which applicants can meet their Evidence of Practice requirements is critical to modernizing the applicant registration process. One way is increasing opportunities for applicants to complete a supervised practice experience in Ontario that will provide the opportunity for applicants to apply CNO’s standards of practice and meet the Evidence of Practice requirement.

CNO is partnering with Ontario Health and employers to launch the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership program. This program will provide the opportunity for eligible applicants to meet their Evidence of Practice requirement for registration to practice as a nurse.

Read more about the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership.

Page last reviewed March 07, 2022