CNO advisory panel? What is that? Why would I be interested in volunteering? We hope that by the end of this short article you’ll be motivated and eager to join an advisory panel. Contributing to a CNO advisory panel can provide opportunities for you to share your unique perspective on important nursing trends, issues and innovations. As a Registered Practical Nurse, you’re an educated, informed and active member of the health care community and joining an advisory panel can advance your profession for the benefit of not only yourself but your nursing colleagues, patients, residents or clients.

Let’s start by defining what an advisory panel is and what it does. The College of Nurses of Ontario facilitates several advisory panels which work at achieving multiple goals in a timely fashion to support nursing practice. In a nutshell an advisory panel:

  • Assesses, develops, implements and evaluates strategies to promote best practice
  • Addresses current nursing issues
  • Brings together an interprofessional team to enhance patient care
  • Makes informed decisions and recommendations to be used in different practice settings

The more important question is what can the advisory committee do for you? As a member of an advisory panel you will have the opportunity to support the work of over 35,000 RPNs employed in nursing in Ontario who are making vital contributions every day to enhance patient care. But, joining a CNO advisory panel offers the added benefit of helping you directly in your nursing career. You will have an opportunity to enjoy a number of professional and personal benefits including:

  • Making a positive and memorable contribution to nursing
  • Broadening your view point and increasing your learning of current issues and trends
  • Increasing networking opportunities and, enhanced career development

As RPNs, we often face distinctive challenges in the workplace not only at the point of care, but also in the boardrooms and committee rooms where nursing policy is continually evolving. Joining an advisory committee will enable you to promote RPN practice while showing members of other disciplines and the public that RPNs are a force behind the development of progressive and effective nursing policy and professional practice.

How can I become a member of an advisory panel? RPNs who are interested in becoming more involved in creating nursing policy, developing new skills, and making a difference in the nursing profession can visit the College of Nurses of Ontario’s website in order to explore the different panels that are looking for new members. In general, applications are due in the spring but the official date for signing up is different each year.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of an advisory panel you should be:

  • Passionate about the issue or theme the panel discusses
  • Familiar with the topics of discussion in order to contribute relevant ideas
  • Positive and action oriented

Remember, communication is the key to success! So as a member of an advisory panel you will be expected to respond to calls, emails, and requests in a timely and professional manner. Always remember that being a Registered Practical Nurse is a distinguished and proud designation and, participating in an advisory panel is a privilege that affords you one of the best ways of enhancing your contribution to our profession and our health care system.


Rita Gogna, RPN

Category: Special FeatureDate: Thursday, June 26, 2014