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Employer Zone

The CNA Certification Program is Canada’s only bilingual, nationally recognized nursing specialty credential. More than 16,000 RNs across Canada are certified.

We offer certification in 22 nursing practice specialties. In 2019, we introduced our first certification for licensed/registered practical nurses and in 2020, registered psychiatric nurses can become certified in their specialty.

Top health-care employers across Canada support certification because they want nurses who are confident in their skill and have expertise in the latest standards of practice and care. CNA is now offering incentives to employers who sponsor 10 or more nurses in becoming certified.

Impact of certification

Initial and renewal certification

To become certified, nurses must meet important eligibility requirements and then write an exam. The exams are bilingual and rigorously validated by subject matter experts from across Canada. These experts collaborate with testing and measurement consultants from Yardstick Assessment Strategies Inc., which ensures the exams reflect the latest evidence-based practices.

Nurses must renew their credential every five years. They can do so by submitting a record of continuous learning or by rewriting the exam.

Important dates


  • January 9 – March 2 › Application window to write or renew by exam
  • May 1 – 15 › Certification exam window

FALL 2020

  • June 1 – September 10 — › Application window to write or renew by exam
  • November 1 – 15 › Certification exam window

January 10 – November 1 › Application window to renew by continuous learning for certified nurses whose term expires in 2020

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