How do I apply to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE/RN Exam)?
What does the RN examination look like?
How much time is allotted to write the exam?
How is the examination scored?
Who developed the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination?
How do I prepare for the examination?
How do I know when and where the examination will be written?
How will I know if I passed the examination?
Can I practise nursing before I receive the CRNE results?
What happens if I am not successful in the examination?
What happens if I am not successful in the examination and I hold a temporary licence?
How do I become a "registered nurse"?
How do I tell my employer that I am "registered"?
Whom do I contact if I have further questions?
1. How do I apply to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE/RN Exam)?
Proceed to the online application.
2. What does the RN examination look like?
The examination is composed of approximately 180-200 multiple-choice questions, each of which is designed to measure a specific competency required of entry-level registered nurses. Experimental items are usually included on the examination, but are not counted in the scoring process. They are inserted to enable CNA to determine their suitability for use on future examinations. Every question on the examination contains a stem and four options. The stem is typically made up of one to three sentences that provide relevant information and the specific nursing question that is being asked. One of the four options is the correct or best answer, and the remaining three are incorrect or less appropriate options. A study guide, the Canadian RN Examination Prep Guide, 5th Edition has been developed by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) to assist candidates prepare for the examination. CNA has also developed a CRNE Readiness Test.
3. How much time is allotted to write the exam?
4. How is the examination scored?
The examination is computer scored. Results are reported as "PASS" or 'FAIL". The results are reported in the same manner for all Canadian registering authorities.
5. Who developed the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination?
The Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE/RN Exam) has been and continues to be developed by Canadian nurses under the direction of Assessment Strategies, Ottawa, Ontario, for the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), owners of the CRNE. As the examination has been developed for Canadian nursing students seeking registration/licensure in a Canadian province, candidates write the same examination, on the same day, across Canada, except for Quebec. As of 2000, Quebec graduates have been writing their provincial registration/licensure examination.
6. How do I prepare for the examination?
STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! In addition: Practise answering exam questions under conditions that simulate the actual examination. Utilize the Prep Guide to assist in focusing your study. Many of the sample questions on the practice exam will have a counterpart on the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE). It is recommended that all examination questions be answered. Use the process of elimination to reach an answer if no one answer appears correct to you. Familiarize yourself with: the physiological and psychosocial needs of clients; clinical techniques (techniques for care); pharmacology; communication, and professional responsibilities. BE CONFIDENT! Have a positive attitude. You have successfully completed your nursing education program and, in doing so, have accumulated a vast body of nursing knowledge. You have also made numerous clinical decisions based on your nursing knowledge and competencies.
7. How do I know when and where the examination will be written?
Two to three weeks prior to the exam date you will receive an email advising you of the writing centre location, the writing time, information brochures, and the examination policies. Your personal identification card will be given to you at the examination centre on the morning of the exam. Photo ID is required to enter the exam room.
8. How will I know if I passed the examination?
The College receives the examination results approximately 4-5 weeks after the writing date. Results are mailed to the address provided on the examination application unless the College is advised otherwise. You are asked to keep the College informed of any changes in your name and/or address to ensure receipt of your result. To ensure security and privacy, exam results are NOT released over the telephone, via email or in person.
9. Can I practise nursing before I receive the CRNE results?
Yes, the RN Act (2006) allows for the issuance of a temporary licence. Temporary licence holders are eligible to practise nursing while awaiting receipt of the examination results. NOTE: temporary licences are invalid if the holder is not successful in the CRNE. Refer to question 11 below.
10. What happens if I am not successful in the examination?
Candidates may write the examination a total of three times. The first writing shall be at the earliest reasonable opportunity following eligibility to write. In the event the candidates do not pass the first write, candidates shall have a maximum of two (2) further opportunities to pass the examination in the twenty-four (24) month period immediately following their first writing of the examination.
11. What happens if I am not successful in the examination and I hold a temporary licence?
If unsuccessful on the CRNE, the temporary licence is null and void immediately on receipt of the results at the office of the College. You and your employer will be notified immediately by telephone and email if you have not passed the CRNE. You must cease practising as a nurse immediately; and you cannot resume practise until you have re-written and passed the CRNE and have registered/licensed with the College.
14. Whom do I contact if I have further questions?
If you have questions about registering in Nova Scotia or with other provinces/countries and/or preparing for and writing the registration examination, please contact:
College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia
Telephone: 902- 491-9744; Toll-free (NS) 1-800-565-9744
Extension 239 (Registration Officer)
February 4, 2013