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Moving Nursing Applicants into the System: College of Nurses of Ontario partners with Ontario Health
The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and Ontario Health are partnering to help address the health human resource needs of the province by launching the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership. This partnership provides an opportunity for applicants, currently going through the registration process to become nurses, to participate in a work experience to help complete their evidence of practice and language proficiency registration requirements.
“We are relentlessly focused on modernizing our applicant assessment process to ensure the health care system has access to skilled nurses needed to deliver safe, quality care,” said Anne Coghlan, CNO’s Executive Director & CEO. “In December alone, we registered 850 nurses. With the launch of the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership, we are providing an immediate response to the workforce needs of the Ontario health care sector, while maintaining our focus on public safety.”
CNO is responsible for protecting the public by promoting safe nursing practice. This includes ensuring applicants are qualified by having the appropriate knowledge, skill and judgement to practice as nurses. Through the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership, applicants gain relevant practice experience under the supervision of a preceptor, within a CNO-approved practice setting in Ontario, to meet the requirement to register as a nurse. A 2021 pilot of this program successfully moved applicants into the system in a shorter time frame.
“Ontario’s nurses have gone above and beyond to keep our communities safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are truly grateful for their compassion and dedication to providing exceptional care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue to respond to the Omicron variant, this new initiative is one more way we will add more nurses to our health care system to support Ontario’s COVID-19 response and ensure patients continue to receive the high-quality care they need.”
Ontario Health is matching applicants with program approved organizations to ensure applicants are available where the need is greatest. “We recognize that COVID-19 has created a growing need for more nurses in the province. With partners across Ontario, our focus is to connect our health care system to ensure Ontarians receive the best possible care,” says Matthew Anderson, CEO, Ontario Health. “This innovative program provides much needed health human resources to support safe patient care during this challenging time.”
Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner, Irwin Glasberg, strongly endorsed the changes that CNO is making to its registration practices. “These changes expand opportunities for many applicants, especially internationally educated nurses, to put their professional skills and experience to work,” says Commissioner Glasberg. “Ensuring fair, transparent and timely registration processes improves access to the profession, enhances the government’s labour market goals and contributes to safe nursing care.”
The Supervised Practice Experience Partnership is one of several ways CNO is modernizing its applicant assessment process and responding as a system partner to support the needs of our health care system.
CNO will contact eligible Supervised Practice Experience Partnership applicants by email with details on how to apply to the program. Organizations wishing to become a partner can contact CNO.