Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Letter to College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) regarding proposed annual membership fee and application fee increases

June 6, 2018

Proposed annual membership fee and application fee increases

Dear Dalton and Anne,

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) was pleased to respond to the CNO's survey on fee increases on June 1, 2018. To reiterate the feedback that we submitted online, RNAO recommends the following:

  1. Proceed with an incremental approach to the proposed annual membership fee increase. This will give members predictability for the fee increase and minimize the impact of a large one-time increase; and
  2. RNAO strongly opposes increasing the application fee by any amount, and urges council to vote to maintain the current application fee. The majority of applicants are either recently graduated nurses, often with substantial student debt; or internationally educated nurses who for the most face prolonged processes and hurdles to establish themselves as a nurse in Ontario - including over three year processes with NNAS and CNO – a reality that imposes extreme financial challenges for them.

On behalf of RNAO members, we also want to share with you that we continue to hear from large numbers of members and non-members who are concerned about the unsatisfactory practice support they receive from the CNO, and the timeliness of responses to their queries. Many members continue to express frustration that they cannot get through to anyone at CNO via telephone. Members also regularly report that CNO's practice support consists of an email reply with links to relevant practice standards that they have usually already consulted, but no effort to engage in dialogue or assist in interpretation of those standards.

RNAO's jurisdictional review1 found Ontario to be the only province/territory not to have telephone as an option for first point of contact for those with practice questions. RNAO's concerns about the quality and function of practice support services as documented in our letters to CNO dated March 24, 2017 (with the jurisdictional review included)2 and May 23, 20173 remain unaddressed.  

Within this context, a 35 per cent increase in annual fees may seem unreasonable to many nurses who are frustrated by the practice support services offered by CNO.  

RNAO looks forward to the College markedly improving the practice support services offered to Ontario's nurses. Supporting Ontario's nurses to interpret and implement practice standards created by CNO is, in our view, essential to fulfilling CNO's responsibility to protect the public.

Warm regards,
Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), O.ONT 
Chief Executive Officer, RNAO  

CC:      CNO Council  


1 Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO). (2017). Jurisdictional comparison of nursing regulatory approaches to nursing practice, March 16, 2017. Retrieved from http://rnao.ca/sites/rnao-ca/files/RNAO_Attachment_for_CNO_-_Jurisdictional_Comparison_of_Nursing_Regulatory_Approaches_to_Nursing_Practice_-_March_24_2017.pdf.

2 RNAO. (2017). RNAO feedback on practice support services, March 24, 2017. Retrieved from http://rnao.ca/sites/rnao-ca/files/RNAO_-_Letter_to_CNO_re_Practice_Support_Services_-_March_24_2017.pdf.

3 RNAO. (2017). RNAO feedback on practice support services, May 23, 2017. Retrieved from http://rnao.ca/sites/rnao-ca/files/May_23_-_RNAO_response_to_CNO_-_Practice_support_services.pdf.

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