Nursing is a very important profession in the medical field and is not one to be taken lightly, with so many lives involved. Nurses play a very important role in global health concerns. If you’re passionate about taking up a job in nursing in Canada, there are certain things you need to know first.
NCLEX is an important nursing exam in Canada. This standardized test is mandatory to get your license as a nurse. The test is computer adaptive, and the difficulty level varies with your performance.
This blog will explore everything concerning the nursing exam Canada, the eligibility for the NCLEX exam, the documents required and more!
Nursing Exam Canada: Overview
Nursing in Canada is different; some titles are specific to particular provinces. So, ensure you find the exact nursing title and identify the region you want to work in before preparing for your registration exam.
The two basic categories of nursing include ‘Registered Nurse’ and ‘Registered Practical Nurse’. You need to know more about both these titles before you choose one.
Nursing Exam Canada: Registered Nurse (RN) Vs Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)
- A Registered Nurse (RN) usually possesses a four-year bachelor’s degree in a nursing course from a recognised university or college. If you become an RN, you will hold a higher rank in the nurses’ system.
- On the other hand, a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) must have only completed a diploma in practical nursing for a year or two. If you decide to become an RPN, you will have a lesser salary than an RN and work under them, but you don’t need as much experience as an RPN would require.
If you want to work as an RPN in certain Canadian provinces, such as Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, or Nova Scotia, the same title will translate to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). So do not get confused with the titles.
Nursing Exam Canada: Verifying your Documents
All foreign candidates who want to practice nursing in Canada must have their documents and credentials reviewed and stored by the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). The NNAS makes sure your credentials are authentic, compares them to Canadian standards and stores them online for later use.
Along with the application documents, you must submit proof of your proficiency in English or French. Once the review is done, the NNAS issues an Advisory Report on whether your credentials are sufficient to practise nursing in Canada. Check out their FAQs section, as most queries are already answered there, and if you have any other questions, you can email the address mentioned on the website.
After getting your Advisor Report, you must apply for the NCLEX exam.
Nursing Exam Canada: What is NCLEX?
The National Council Licensure Examination is a mandatory registration exam that all nursing graduates, including foreign nurses who want to undertake nursing practice in the USA, Canada and Australia, must undertake.
It is conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), a not-for-profit organisation in the USA recognised by all the nursing regulatory bodies in all 50 states of the USA.
Nursing Exam Canada: How to Apply for NCLEX?
The first and foremost, you need to apply for an Authorisation to Test (ATT). To do this, you should contact the local regulatory body for nursing. You will receive the ATT through your email. Only if you receive this email can you take up the NCLEX exam.
The eligibility requirements for receiving an ATT differ for each nursing regulatory body. So make sure to check with the nursing body in your chosen province to know the registration requirements.
All applicants are then required to register with Pearson VUE, which provides the assessment service for conducting licensure and certification exams. Based on whether you want to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), you need to apply for their respective examination. To become a Registered Nurse, you only have to apply for the NCLEX-RN exam.
With this, the application process ends. However, ensure that you securely save your AAT in your digital storage drive, either locally or on the cloud.
Why is an ATT important for Nursing Exam Canada?
The ATT contains your authorisation number, candidate identification number and the expiration date for your ATT. Only after you get an ATT will you be allowed to schedule the NCLEX exam, which is only valid for a limited time. On average, an ATT is valid for up to 90 days but not more than that. So, ensure you are prepared to attend the exam while applying for the ATT.
Once you pass the exam, you will receive your permit to practise as a licensed nurse in Canada. Additionally, becoming a member of the Canada Nurses Association gives you extra benefits, such as continuing professional development training to enhance your career.
Nursing Exam Canada: NCLEX-RN Eligibility
- A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from a recognised university.
- A bridge course if the Bachelor’s degree does not match Canadian standards.
- Authorisation to Test (ATT).
- Proof of proficiency in English or French. If you need help, read this blog to learn how to get better scores in IELTS.
- Documents and credentials reviewed by the NNAS.
- The candidate must be registered with the nursing regulatory body where they want to work.
Nursing Exam Canada: NCLEX-RN Exam Dates?
You can apply to write the NCLEX-RN exam throughout the year. You need to schedule the exam on the Pearson VUE website choosing from the dates available at your preferred exam centre. Once Pearson VUE confirms the date, you will be scheduled to write the exam on the specified date and time.
Becoming a nurse in Canada requires hard work but offers a fulfilling career trajectory. We hope this guide for nursing exam Canada has helped clear your doubts.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you take the NCLEX online?
No, the NCLEX exams are conducted offline. The exams are conducted in VUE exam centres across the globe. You must register according to the exam schedule on the Pearson VUE website.
What are the expenses involved in taking a nursing exam in Canada?
The exam fee is usually around CAD 150 for the NCLEX exam. The fees may be higher if you decide to change from NCLEX-RN to NCLEX-RPN, change your province or change the examination date. So, decide what exam to take to save expenses later.
How do I prepare for the NCLEX exam?
There are NCLEX coaching centres that provide special training for these exams. The NCSBN offers online practice tests to help you assess your knowledge and prepare for the exams.
How long is the NCLEX exam Canada?
NCLEX exam takes 6 hours to complete with two optional breaks.
What is the age limit for the NCLEX exam?
There is no age limit for the NCLEX exam in Canada. However, you are expected to take the exam only after graduating from nursing school.
What is the minimum number of questions in the NCLEX exam?
You get a minimum of 75 questions in the NCLEX exam.
How much does the NCLEX exam in Canada cost?
NCLEX-RN exam costs $360 in Canada.