Addressing a Complaint at the College of Nurses of Ontario: Top Things to Know

If you’re a nurse in Ontario, you may be subject to a complaint filed against you with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). When a complaint is filed, it can be a stressful and confusing time. It’s important to understand what you need to do to respond and what your rights and responsibilities are.

Here are the top things you need to know about responding to a complaint at the College of Nurses of Ontario:

  1. The CNO’s Jurisdiction: The CNO has jurisdiction over registered nurses (RNs), registered practical nurses (RPNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs) in Ontario. They have the authority to investigate complaints and discipline members for professional misconduct, incompetence, and other regulatory offenses.
  2. The Complaint Process: When a complaint is filed with the CNO, it is reviewed by a complaints investigator. The investigator may contact you to request a response to the complaint. If the complaint is deemed serious enough, it may be referred to a disciplinary hearing.
  3. Your Rights: You have the right to be informed of the details of the complaint against you and to respond to it. You also have the right to legal representation and to a fair hearing. It’s important to know that anything you say during the investigation process may be used against you, so it’s recommended to seek legal advice before responding to any allegations.
  4. Response Timeline: You typically have 30 days to respond to a complaint. However, if you need more time, you can request an extension. It’s important to respond in a timely manner, as failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
  5. Possible Outcomes: If the CNO finds that you have engaged in professional misconduct, incompetence, or other regulatory offenses, they may take disciplinary action. This can range from a reprimand or fine to suspension or revocation of your nursing license. In some cases, the CNO may also require remedial education or practice restrictions.
  6. Legal Representation: It’s highly recommended to seek legal representation when responding to a complaint. A lawyer experienced in representing nurses can help you understand the process, protect your rights, and provide guidance on the best course of action.

If you’re facing a complaint at the College of Nurses of Ontario, it’s important to take it seriously and seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact us at Falcon Law PC today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you navigate the complaint process. You can reach us at or 1-877-892-7778.

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