This section is intended for students in nursing programs at colleges and universities in Ontario. It is designed to:

  • help you understand CNO’s role as a regulatory body and prepare you for your nursing career
  • provide information you need to apply and register as a nurse in Ontario
  • provide relevant resources and references.

CNO sets the requirements for entry-to-practice for the profession, articulates practice standards for its members and approves nursing programs in Ontario. Ontario nursing schools offer programs, courses and educational opportunities for those seeking to become nurses in Ontario.

Read more about approved Ontario nursing programs.

Registration exams assess whether applicants have the nursing knowledge, skills and judgment required to practice safely at the beginning of their careers in Ontario. 

The exam you write depends on the class of nursing you are applying to. Read more.

To become a nurse in Ontario, you must show that you successfully completed a nursing education program designed to prepare you for the type of nursing that you want to practice in Ontario. Read more in our registration guide.

Learn about the different classes of nursing at CNO, including Temporary Registration.

Note: The title of “nurse” is protected and can only be used by those registered with CNO. As a student, you can use the term “nursing student” to describe yourself.  You cannot refer to yourself as a “nurse,” “student nurse,” “Registered Nurse (RN),” “Registered Practical Nurse (RPN),” “Nurse Practitioner (NP),” or any other variation. You can use the term “nursing student” to describe yourself.




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