About the exam

Get in-depth information on the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination


The Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) Prep Guide, 5th edition, was developed to assist candidates in preparing to take the CPNRE. You can benefit from the CPNRE Prep Guide whether you have several months or only a couple of weeks to prepare for the examination.

Success on the CPNRE depends on two key factors: (1) your knowledge of practical nursing principles and content; and (2) your ability to apply this knowledge in the context of specific health-care scenarios presented on the CPNRE. The CPNRE Prep Guide is designed to help you prepare to optimize both of these factors.

Background on the CPNRE

The Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) was first administered in 1971. The exam, offered in English and French, has always been comprehensive in nature. The content and format of the exam, however, has been adapted over the years to meet the evolving requirements for entry-level practical nurses in Canada.

The exam protects the public by ensuring that the entry-level practical nurse possesses the competencies required to practise safely and effectively.

Each provincial and territorial regulatory authority is responsible for ensuring that graduates of practical nursing programs in Canada, and practical nurses educated in other countries, applying for registration meet an acceptable level of competence before they begin to practise.

This level of competence is measured, in part, by the CPNRE that is administered in every Canadian province and territory with the exception of Quebec.

Yardstick Assessment Strategies develops the CPNRE by working in collaboration with subject matter experts from across Canada.

These experts serve as the content experts in developing and validating the CPNRE on behalf of the regulatory authorities.

Yardstick Assessment Strategies also works closely with provincial/territorial practical nurse regulators who provide input into the exam development process.

The provincial regulators are also responsible for administering the CPNRE in dozens of writing centres across Canada.

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