Exam blueprint

The CPNRE Blueprint outlines the content tested on the national exam

For the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination, the content consists of the competencies that an entry-level practical nurse is required to possess in order to practise safely and effectively in a Canadian healthcare setting.

CPNRE Blueprint 2022-2026

What's in the blueprint

  • Descriptions of the 3 cognitive levels that the exam questions are testing:
    • Knowledge & comprehension
    • Application
    • Critical thinking
  • Descriptions of the 3 categories which make up the Competency Framework:
    • Professional, ethical, and legal practice
    • Foundations of practice
    • Collaborative practice
    • How the pass mark is set
    • A glossary of terms
    • The number of competencies in each competency category
    • The percentage of exam questions from each competency category
    • The complete list of competencies that candidates will be tested on
    • The distribution of questions by cognitive level
    • The exam length and format
    • How questions are presented on the exam

The development of the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) is a collaborative effort between Yardstick Assessment Strategies, the provincial/territorial regulatory bodies and subject matter experts from across Canada.

Practical nurses, practical nursing educators and managers serve a vital role in the development of the CPNRE. One important part of this contribution is item writing. This page provides current and prospective item writers with information on how to write quality multiple-choice questions for the CPNRE.

Interested in becoming an item writer for the CPNRE?

Item writing participants are nominated by their provincial/territorial regulatory body. From this list of qualified applicants, YAS selects nominees to invite. Efforts are made to ensure that all item writing groups contain a mixture of novice and experienced item writers from across the country who represent various areas of practice.

If you wish to participate in item writing, or in any other exam development activity, please complete the CPNRE Participation Form.

Submit the completed form to your provincial/territorial regulatory body. A full list of regulatory bodies, including their contact information, can be found here.

Are you writing questions for the first time?

Writing questions, especially for the first time, can seem overwhelming. Be sure to check out the 2022-2026 CPNRE Blueprint to help familiarize you with the item writing process.

Get started on your CPNRE prep today

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