OTTAWA, Jan. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - In an announcement this morning, Canadian
Nurses Association president Judith Shamian presented a declaration of
essential principles for the development of a made- and owned-in-Canada
registered nurse (RN) entry exam. Concerns have been growing since
December when 10 of Canada's RN regulators selected the American-based
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to develop a new
computer-based RN entry exam. NCSBN announced it would bring the
existing American exam, the NCLEX-RN®, to Canada for the purpose of
licensing new nurses.
"As the professional voice of RNs across the country, we have a
responsibility to speak out for a made- and owned-in-Canada exam," said
Shamian. "The issue of how we qualify RNs for practice is paramount to
the effective self-regulation of the nursing profession and the safe
delivery of health care to Canadians."
Selecting a U.S.-based organization, which has announced its intent to
deliver the existing American exam, raises the question of whether such
an exam could be applicable to Canadian nursing and this country's
health-care system. The declaration outlines principles that are
essential to any negotiations undertaken for the development of
Canada's RN entry-to-practice exam and how issues of content, privacy
and mobility must be addressed. Furthermore, since RN regulators
operate under the authority of provincial and territorial governments,
the declaration calls upon those governments to ensure the regulators
implement and uphold the principles and maintain the RN entry exam's
"What we ultimately need from Canada's RN regulators is assurance that
they will be accountable to these principles," said Shamian. "Their
function is to set and maintain standards that support the delivery of
safe, quality health care to meet the needs of Canadians. It's not in
the best interests of the nursing profession or patient safety to have
an exam owned and developed outside our country."
RN regulators in each province and territory decide which entry exam is
to be used in their jurisdiction; that exam determines whether a new RN
is qualified to practise in Canada's health-care system. Currently,
nursing candidates in every province and territory except for Quebec
take the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. This would be the first
time the NCLEX-RN® exam is used for the purpose of licensure outside of
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A
federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and
colleges representing 143,843 registered nurses, CNA advances the
practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and
strengthen Canada's publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.
ENSURING A CANADIAN SOLUTION FOR THE RN ENTRY EXAM
A DECLARATION BY THE CANADIAN NURSES ASSOCIATION
On December 2, 2011, 10 of Canada's provincial and territorial
registered nurse (RN) regulators chose the National Council of State
Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) — an American organization — to develop a new
Canadian computer‐based RN entry exam. This means that if the contract
with NCSBN is finalized, the current exam, the Canadian Registered
Nurse Exam (CRNE), likely will no longer exist and the new one will
have its origins in the United States by as early as 2015.
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is deeply concerned about this
decision and declares that the RN regulators must commit to take action to protect the
integrity of Canada's RN entry‐to‐practice exam. As the national
professional voice of RNs in Canada, CNA promotes high standards of
nursing practice in the public interest. CNA recognizes that the public
places a high level of trust in the nursing profession and that
protecting this trust is paramount. CNA recognizes and respects the
authority and responsibility of RN regulators to regulate and support
competent, safe practice in Canada.
Choosing a U.S.‐based organization, which has announced its intent to
deliver the existing American exam (the NCLEX), raises questions as to
such an exam's applicability to Canadian nursing and our health‐care
system. As the guardians of quality nursing care in Canada, CNA declares that a Canadian RN entry exam is in the best interests of new nursing
graduates and the public.
Therefore, CNA declares that the following seven principles are essential to any negotiations:
The decision must not have a negative impact on Canada's RN recruitment
and retention strategies.
Canadian exam data and personal information must not be subject to the USA Patriot Act and must be housed and protected in Canada according to Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
The new computer‐based RN entry exam must promote, maintain and align
with the curriculum of Canadian schools of nursing.
The new computer‐based RN entry exam must reflect the unique character,
qualities and values of the Canadian publicly funded, not‐for‐profit
health system, including:
The new computer‐based RN entry exam must reflect 100 per cent Canadian
RNs from across the country representing all domains of nursing must
continue to participate in the development of the new computer‐based RN
Canadian francophone RNs must continue to develop 25 per cent of the new
computer‐based RN entry exam questions in French, and must continue to
review all French translation.
a focus on primary health care, health promotion and injury/disease
Canadian legislation that affects nursing practice, such as the
requirement to report child abuse;
respect for Canada's cultural diversity and societal values, such as the
inclusion of the health needs of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples, social
justice and a focus on the determinants of health; and
the Canadian Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.
CNA declares that a made‐ and owned‐in‐Canada exam that offers and tests our
students on Canadian content, similar to other professions like
medicine, pharmacy, engineering, accounting and more, is required to
attain the seven principles above and to protect the integrity of
Canadian RN standards and patient safety.
Since RN regulators operate under the authority of provincial and
territorial governments, CNA calls upon Canada's governments to
guarantee the seven principles are implemented and upheld by RN
regulators across the country, and that Canadian ownership of the RN
entry exam is maintained
SOURCE CANADIAN NURSES ASSOCIATION
For further information:
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
| Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator |
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561