Nursing Students are Affiliate Members of ONA

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is the union that represents 64,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals and 16,000 nursing student affiliates who provide care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry throughout the province.

Almost all nursing students in the province are automatically affiliate members of ONA. If you are studying nursing at a college or university in Ontario, you are most likely an affiliate member of ONA and have the right to participate in the activities of your union including education workshops and membership meetings.

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook

Check out ONA’s YouTube channel and follow ONA on Twitter. Plus, make sure to like ONA’s Facebook page.

Comments & Suggestions

Nursing student affiliate memberships in ONA is still new. So as you get involved in your union, please share your thoughts and suggestions about what ONA can do for you. Email:

ONA Education

Nursing student affiliate members are encouraged to participate in the free education offered by ONA. Check out the workshop calendar to find out what’s being offered and when you need to register. You should register for workshops in the same way that all ONA members do, by contacting the Membership Education and Events Team (MEET) prime.


Update Dec. 23, 2016: ONA lobbying pays off on behalf of nursing students!

The Ontario Nurses’ Association is pleased to announce that Registered Nurse applicants taking the NCLEX-RN exam will now have unlimited rewrites for the entry-to-practice exam. The previous limit was three writes.

After many months of ONA lobbying the provincial government – including correspondence from ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN to Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins – ONA was able to help convince the government to amend the Nursing Act, 1991.

These changes come into effect on January 9, 2017. Visit the College of Nurses of Ontario website for further information.

March 22, 2016

ONA Lobbying regarding NCLEX Exam A Success!

Earlier this month, ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, wrote to Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins requesting action to make the NCLEX-RN)fair for Ontario’s nursing school graduates.

The lobbying was a success! A memo from Linda states, in part, “I am pleased to report that through our lobbying efforts we have been successful in convincing the government to make amendments to the Nursing Act Regulation to address our concerns and these are currently being worked on. The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is expected to make the necessary amendments to its registration criteria at the June CNO Council meeting.”

March 8, 2016

ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud has written a letter to Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins requesting immediate action to make administration of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) fair for Ontario’s nursing school graduates. The letter states, in part:

“Failure rates point to inequity between the way this single entry to practice exam is administered in Canada versus in the United States of America (US) where it originated. After Canada switched from the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) to the NCLEX-RN, Canadian nursing graduates experienced high failure rates relative to their American counterparts.”

November 11, 2015

The College of Nurses of Ontario released a briefing note about the NCLEX exam.

August 12, 2015

ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, wrote to the Executive Director and CEO of the College of Nurses of Ontario requesting that the CNO allow applicants additional rewrites of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and not require an applicant to complete another nursing program where an applicant has unsuccessfully written the NCLEX. In addition, ONA also requested amendments to allow temporary registrants to continue working under the temporary class when they have been unsuccessful in writing the NCLEX.

Other Education News

May 18, 2016

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) has announced the development of innovative new competency-based courses to help prepare internationally educated nurses to launch their registered nursing careers in Ontario.

Ryerson, Trent, Windsor and York  are developing the courses for launch in January and May of 2017. Funding for development of the courses is being provided by the  Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. COU is working with the universities to coordinate the project. For the latest news and information about this program visit

Nursing Graduate Guarantee for New Ontario Graduate Nurses

The Nursing Graduate Guarantee for New Ontario Graduate Nurses is a program of the Government of Ontario that is aimed at ensuring new nursing graduates (RN and RPN) will have the opportunity to work full-time in the province. Through this program the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides funding for temporary full-time nursing positions that, based on the needs of and money available to the participating employers, last for a minimum of 12 weeks (3 months) and a maximum of 32 weeks (7.5 months).