CARNA Responds to Announcement of Assessment Centre Closures

EDMONTON, March 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) has been informed that Mount Royal College (MRU) will be closing their Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) assessment centres in Edmonton and Calgary.  The Health Professions Act requires CARNA to provide an SEC process and the Mount Royal University's assessment centres for internationally educated nurses have provided the services CARNA requires to fulfill its regulatory mandate.

"We are extremely concerned by the loss of Substantially Equivalent Competency or SEC assessment services capacity in Alberta," says Mary-Anne Robinson, CARNA's chief executive officer. "An SEC assessment is an extension of the overall assessment done by CARNA to determine eligibility of an international applicant for licensure as a registered nurse in Alberta.  We are working with Alberta Health to find a viable alternative process as quickly as possible to help us address this serious issue."

SEC describes the combination of education, experience, practice or other qualifications that demonstrate that an applicant has the competence required for registration as a registered nurse in Alberta. The Mount Royal SEC assessment centres use a combination of written exams, interview case management situations, clinical lab role-play situations and self-assessment to assess an applicant's professional knowledge, skills, attributes values and judgment. That information is then provided to CARNA of as one part of the individual assessment of each international nurse applicant.

"Our immediate concern is for the 790 international nurse applicants who are currently waiting for SEC assessment," says Robinson. "We are also mindful of the potential impact on future international nursing recruitment if CARNA is not able to refer international applicants for the SEC assessment we need in order to determine whether or not an individual can practice safely and competently as a registered nurse in Alberta."

CARNA is the professional and regulatory body for Alberta's 33,000 registered nurses, including nurses in direct care, education, research and administration as well as nurse practitioners. Its mandate is to protect the public by ensuring that Albertans receive effective, safe and ethical care by registered nurses.

SOURCE: College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

For further information:

Margaret Ward-Jack
tel: 780.453.0515
cell: 780.932.1376

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