Each provincial and territorial nursing regulatory body in canada is responsible for ensuring that the individuals it registers as nurses meet an acceptable level of competence before beginning to practice.

The level of competence of registered nurses in all provinces and territories except Quebec is measured, in part, by the Candian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE). CNA develops and maintains the CRNE through its testing company, Assessment Strategies Inc., and in collaboration with the regulatory authorities. The provincial and territorial nursing regulatory authorities administer the exam and determine elligibility to write it.

What is the format of the CRNE?

The CRNE consists solely of multiple-choice questions.

What typel of test is the CRNE?

The CRNE is a paper and pencil exam offered in French and English. The exam consists of one book, which is administered over the course of four hours.

The exam consists of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions, each designed to measure a specific competency required of entry-level registered nurses. Some of the questions are presented within cases in which a brief description of a case is followed by a group of three to fice question. The remainder of the exam consists of single, independent questions that are unrelated to a case or to other questions on the exam. About 20 of the questions are experimental.

Every question on the exam contains a stem and four options. The stem typically consists of one to three sentences that provide relevant information and the specific nursing question that is being asked. One of the four option is the correct (or best) answer, and the remaining three are incorrect or less appropriate options.

What is tested on the CRNE?

The exam measures the competencies that Canadian nurses have identified as necessary for safe and effective nursing practice. the CRNE tests 148 competencies that fall into four broad categories:

  • Professional Practice
  • Nurse-Client Partnership
  • Health and Wellness
  • Changes in Health

How are the CRNE questions developed and by whom?

The CRNE questions are designed around the competencies required of entry-level registered nurses to deliver safe and effective nursing care. The questions are developed and assessed by nurse experts and psychometricians and updated regularly to reflect the evolution of nursing practice. The CRNE is also regularly assessed by testing and psychometric experts to ensure that it is fair, valid and reliable.


How are the questions presented?

Some questions on the CRNE are presented as independent questions and some are presented within cases. Independent questions contain the information necessary to answer the questions, while case-based questions include a set of three to five questions associated with a brief health-care scenario.


How long does it take to receive results on the CRNE?

Your pass or fail result on the exam will be sent to your provincial or territorial regulatory authority within 4-8 weeks of the exam. The regulatory authority will then mail your result to you; how long it takes for you to receive your result from the regulatory authority varies depending on the jurisdiction.


How many times can I take the CRNE?

With few exceptions, in all provinces and territories, you can write the CRNE only three times. please check with your regulatory authority for details.


How do I apply to write the CRNE?

To write the CRNE and become registered in one of the provinces or territories in Canada, you must apply to the nursing regulatory body in that province or territory. The regulatory body will provide you with the application forms you need and inform you about the application process. It will also advise you of your eligibility to take the CRNE and inform you of upcoming CRNE dates in the relevant jurisdiction. All authority to take the actual CRNE and become registered is given by the nursing regulatory bodies.