June 2010 – May 2015
Each provincial and 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 Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE). 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.
Free access to our popular webinar recording — Get Ready for the CRNE — and its updated presentation [PDF, 5.2 MB].
FAQs about taking the exam
FAQs about rewriting the exam
Exam length and format
The CRNE consists of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions.
Some questions on the CRNE are presented as independent questions and some are presented within cases. Independent questions contain the information necessary to answer the questions, while case-based questions include a set of three to five questions associated with a brief health-care scenario.
What does the CRNE test?
The CRNE tests 148 competencies that fall into four broad categories:
- Professional Practice
- Nurse-Client Partnership
- Health and Wellness
- Changes in Health
Related information and publications