Registrant Statistics

About these Statistics

This page contains statistics about nurses who are currently registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) as of December 1, 2022.

CNO registers nurses in two categories (Registered Nurse [RN] and Registered Practical Nurse [RPN]) and multiple classes, as shown in the following table:

Registration Category
ClassRegistered Nurse (RN)Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)
General Y Y
Extended (NP) Y N
Temporary Y Y
Non-Practising Y Y

Any nurse who holds a certificate of registration with CNO is considered a registrant. A registration is specific to a category and class, and registrants may hold more than one registration.

General & Extended Class: Nurses who have met all the requirements to become registered to work as nurses in Ontario are registered in the General Class. Registered Nurses in the Extended Class are Nurse Practitioners (NPs).

Temporary Class: Nurses in the Temporary Class are allowed to practice under defined terms, conditions and limitations. They are eligible to join the General Class after they meet all the requirements.

Non-Practising Class: Nurses who want to keep their registration when they are not practicing may register in the Non-Practising Class. They cannot practice nursing in Ontario, either paid or unpaid.

Learn more about Classes of Registration.

 

Registrants in the General and Extended Classes

The following graph shows the number of registrants holding registration in the General or Extended Class at the start of each month.

Although the number of registrants in the General and Extended Classes displays an overall upward trend, the numbers follow a cyclical pattern in line with the CNO's Annual Membership Renewal process.

Each year, the number of registrants peaks in December and then falls between January and March, as some members choose not to renew their General or Extended Class registration and instead enter the Non-Practising Class, resign their membership or let their registration expire. After March, the number of registrants starts to grow as new nurses join the General and Extended Classes during the year.

 

Number of Registrants in the General and Extended Classes - see image description after image

Image description

Registrants in General and Extended Classes Year Over Year

The following graph shows the number of registrants holding registration in the General or Extended Class at the start of each December for the previous five years, by the categories and classes of registration they hold. Dual registrants hold registrations in both the RN and RPN categories at the same time. Presenting registrant totals at the same time each year allows for year-over-year comparisons, while accounting for seasonal fluctuations.

Number of Registrants in the General and Extended Classes by type of Registration held - see image description after image

Image description

The following table shows the number of registrants in the General and Extended Classes at the start of December 2022 and compares it to the same time in the previous year.

Registrations HeldDecember 2021December 2022Year-Over-Year Change
RN General only 113,491 116,926 3,435
RPN General only 58,578 60,888 2,310
RN Extended (NP) only 4,439 4,736 297
Dual RN RPN 2,105 2,995 890
Total 178,613 185,545 6,932

 

Current NP Specialties

Current Registrations in the Extended Class by Specialty as of December 1, 2022

All Registered Nurses in the Extended Class (NPs) have one or more specialty certificates. The following table shows the number of specialty certificates held by NPs as of  December 1, 2022.

 

NP SpecialtiesNumber of Registrants
Primary Health Care only 3,682
Adult only 764
Paediatrics only 267
Multiple Specialties 23
Total RN Extended (NP) Registrants 4,736

 

Registrants in the Temporary Class

The following graph shows the number of registrants holding registration in the Temporary Class at the start of each month.

The numbers vary greatly throughout the year. They typically peak in July as graduates from Ontario nursing programs register in the Temporary Class, while preparing to write the registration exam and complete their General Class application. The spike in 2021 reflects the nurses who applied for the Emergency Assignment Class (EAC), which was activated to support health human resource needs, but were redirected toward the Temporary Class because registration was valid for six months instead of 60 days.

In late 2022, regulation changes to the Temporary Class went into effect to hasten the registration of international applicants. A description of the regulation changes and information on the number of new nurses who entered the system since the regulation changes went into effect can be seen on our Applicant Statistics webpage.

 

Number of Registrants in the Temporary Class - see image description after image

Image description

 

Registrants in Temporary Class Year Over Year

The following graph shows the number of registrants holding registration in the Temporary Class at the start of each December for the previous five years, by the categories and classes of registration they hold. Presenting registrant totals at the same time each year allows for year-over-year comparisons, while accounting for seasonal fluctuations.

Number of Registrants in the Temporary Class by type of Registration held - see image description after image

Image description

The following table shows the number of registrants in the Temporary Class at the start of December 2022 and compares it to the same time in the previous year.

Registrations HeldDecember 2021December 2022Year-Over-Year Change
RN Temporary 107 205 98
RPN Temporary 263 324 61
RN Temporary and RPN General 24 64 40
Total 394 593 199

 

Registrants in the Non-Practising Class

The following graph shows the number of registrants holding registration in the Non-Practising Class at the start of each month.

Although the number of registrants in the Non-Practising Class displays an overall upward trend, the numbers follow a cyclical pattern in line with the CNO’s Annual Membership Renewal process. As a percentage, Non-Practising registrations make up around 8% of all registrations, as shown in our Registration Statistics Report 2022, and has remained relatively stable since 2018.

Each year, the number of registrants in the Non-Practising Class spikes in January and February. This spike mainly consists of nurses who are not able to renew in the General or Extended Classes, because they no longer meet the declaration of practice. These members can choose to enter the Non-Practising Class, resign their General or Extended Class registration or let it expire.

The number of registrants in the Non-Practising Class falls in March, when nurses who do not wish to renew their Non-Practising registration either resign it or let it expire.

 

Number of Registrants in the Non-Practising Class - see image description after image

Image description

 

Registrants in Non-Practising Class Year Over Year

The following graph shows the number of registrants holding registration in the Non-Practising Class at the start of each December for the previous five years by the categories and classes of registration they hold. Dual Non-Practising registrants hold Non-Practising registrations in both the RN and RPN categories at the same time. Presenting registrant totals at the same time each year allows for year-over-year comparisons, while accounting for seasonal fluctuations.

Number of Registrants in the Non-Practising Class by type of Registration held - see image description after image

Image description

The following table shows the number of registrants in the Non-Practising Class at the start of December 2022 and compares it to the same time in the previous year.

Registrations HeldDecember 2021December 2022Year-Over-Year Change
RN Non-Practising 10,649 10,826 177
RPN Non-Practising 3,481 3,600 119
Dual RN and RPN Non-Practising 27 28 1
Total 14,157 14,454 297

 

New Registrants and New Registrations in the General and Extended Classes

New Registrants represent the number of new nurses added to the system. An individual is considered a new registrant if they are not already registered in the General or Extended Class at the time the new registration is granted. For example, a nurse who registers in the RN General Class is not considered a new registrant if they already hold an RPN General registration.

New Registrations represent the number of nurses who registered in a particular category and class of registration for the first time. They may already hold registration with CNO at the time of registration. A nurse registering for the first time as a dual RN/RPN registrant would be counted in the RN General and RPN General Classes.

For more data related to our applicants seeking registration, see our Applicant Statistics.

To learn more about our registration process, see our Registration Requirements.

The following tables show the number of new registrants and new registrations in each category and class for three date ranges:

  • The past 12 months from December 1, 2021 to November 30, 2022

  • Year to date (YTD) from January 1, 2022 to November 30, 2022

  • The previous month – November 2022

 

 

New Registrants

 Past 12 MonthsYTDPrevious Month
New Registrants 12,903 12,197 740

 

New Registrations by Category and Class

Registration Category and ClassPast 12 MonthsYTDPrevious Month
RN General 8,591 8,354 533
RN Extended (NP)  393  371  46
RPN General  6,692 6,171  338

 

New Registrations by Location of Education

Location of EducationPast 12 MonthsYTDPrevious Month
Ontario 7,948 7,483 481
 Other Canadian Provinces and Territories  717  686  38
 International  7,011  6,727  397
Page last reviewed December 01, 2022