Canadian Registered Nurse Examination As of February 2008, the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam (CRNE) will consist solely of multiple-choice questions. For details about the exam, please read the information below.
Each provincial or 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 practise.
The level of competence of registered nurses in all provinces and territories except Quebec is measured, in part, by the CRNE. The Canadian Nurses Association (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 eligibility to write it.
The purpose of the CRNE is to protect the public by ensuring that the entry-level registered nurse possesses the competencies required to practise safely and effectively.
Examination Length and Format
As of February 2008, the CRNE will consist of multiple-choice questions only. There are about 300 questions on the exam.
Of the approximately 300 multiple-choice questions on the CRNE, about 40 per cent are presented as independent questions and 60 per cent are presented within cases. Case-based questions include a set of three to five questions associated with a brief health-care scenario. Independent questions contain the information necessary to answer the questions.
What Is Tested
With the CRNE The following text is taken from the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam Prep Guide (2005). There are 194 competencies that make up the content domain for the CRNE. Each question on the CRNE is linked to one of these competencies.
A framework was developed to identify and organize the competencies the CRNE should assess. The resulting framework reflects a primary health care nursing model. The framework and definitions of the four framework categories are presented below. The number of competencies in each category is indicated in parentheses following the category name. The number of competencies in each category does not necessarily reflect the importance each area of competency has in the practice of nursing.
Professional Practice (44 competencies)
Each nurse is accountable for safe, competent and ethical nursing practice. Professional practice occurs within the context of the CNA Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses (2002), provincial or territorial standards of practice and legislation. Nurses are expected to demonstrate professional conduct as reflected by attitudes, beliefs and values espoused in the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses. Professional practice in nursing involves the demonstration of teamwork, leadership attributes, basic management skills, advocacy and political awareness. Leadership attributes such as vision, knowledge, initiative, integrity, confidence, communication and innovation are necessary for the advancement of nursing practice, the nursing profession and health care delivery systems. Entry-level management skills involve the ability to work within an organization, using appropriate resources to achieve the organization’s mission and vision. Professional practice includes awareness of the need for, and the ability to ensure, continued professional development. Professional development involves the capacity to perform self-assessments, seek feedback and plan self-directed learning activities that foster professional growth. Nurses are expected to know how to locate and use results of research findings to inform and build an evidence-based practice.
Nurse-Person Relationship (21 competencies)
The nurse-person relationship is a therapeutic partnership established to promote the health of the person. This relationship is based on trust, respect and sensitivity to diversity. An essential element involves gathering information that reflects the uniqueness of the person. It involves therapeutic use of self, communication skills, nursing knowledge, and the facilitation of empowerment to achieve collaboratively identified health goals.
Nursing Practice: Health and Wellness (46 competencies)
Nursing competencies in this category are focused on recognizing and valuing health and wellness as a resource. The category encompasses health promotion, illness and injury prevention and the implementation of community or societal approaches. Practice is guided by the principles of primary health care. Nurses work in partnership with communities to influence the determinants of health, with the goal of enabling people to increase control over, and improve, their health. Nurses partner with the person to: develop personal skills, create supportive environments for health, strengthen community action, reorient health services and build healthy public policy. Practice reflects changes in cultural composition, demographics, health trends and economic factors (e.g., aging population, globalization).
Nursing Practice: Alterations in Health (83 competencies)
Nursing competencies in this category involve care across the lifespan for the person experiencing alterations in health that require acute, chronic, rehabilitative or palliative care. Such care may be delivered across a range of institutional and community settings. Essential aspects of nursing involve critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making in providing care. Using current knowledge, nurses collaborate with the person and other health professionals to identify health priorities. In responding to and managing health issues, the aim of nursing is to promote maximal independence and to maintain optimal quality of life or ensure that individuals at the end of life experience a peaceful death.