Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam – Frequently Asked Questions

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta is responsible for ensuring that graduates of practical nursing programs and nurses educated in other countries applying to become licensed practical nurses in Alberta meet an acceptable level of competence before they begin to practice in Alberta. One of the ways the CLPNA measures this competence is by the Canadian Practical Nursing Registration Examination (CPNRE). The CPNRE tests knowledge of practical nursing principles and the ability to apply this knowledge in healthcare scenarios.

Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about the exam. Learn about the CPNRE, how to write it, how to access results, and more.

For information about eligibility, deadlines, fees, and more:  Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) Main Page

I have heard that there is a new exam for LPNs. Is Alberta moving to this new exam?

No. The CLPNA Registration Examination will continue to be the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE). The other 2 exams in Canada will be the REx-PN and a Quebec exam. The REx-PN is currently being offered through British Columbia and Ontario.

Are there any changes to the CPNRE for 2022?

Yes. The exam is moving to linear-on-the-fly testing (LOFT) in January 2022 which means that each candidate will get a unique exam from a variety of exam questions. The LOFT method ensures that each candidate, while they are all writing different exams, meets the outline of the CPNRE Blueprint which can be found at www.cpnre.ca. As each exam is different, LOFT also enhances the security of the exam.

The cost has increased for the exam. Why?

The CLPNA operates the exam on a cost-recovery basis, ensuring the fees are reasonable and align with other provinces using the CPNRE. As the exam format moves to LOFT and is restructured to meet the competencies outlined in the updated Entry-to-Practice Competencies and CPNRE Blueprint, the costs for administering the exam have increased to accommodate these improvements. Additionally, to support ease of payment for the writer, only one payment is required, with the ProctorU booking fee now included in the total cost of the exam.

When do I write my exam?

Please ensure you will be able to write in the next window before you pay for your exam. Once you have paid for your exam, you will be placed into the next available testing window based on the deadlines that can be found at CPNRE Testing Window Dates.

If you do not write within the testing window you are scheduled for, there is a $100 Did Not Write fee.

What if I can’t write in the next exam testing window?

If you cannot write in the next testing window, it is important to let the CLPNA know before you pay for your exam – Email Student Services

If you do not write within the testing window you are scheduled for, there is a $100 Did Not Write fee.

How do I book my exam?

Within 10 business days of being placed into a testing window, you will receive a booking email from Yardstick Assessment Strategies. You will then be required to book a specific date and time for your exam through ProctorU—an online testing and proctoring platform. Please note that when you login to myCLPNA, your dashboard shows your exam time as the last date in the testing window as a placeholder until we get your exam results—it is not the actual date you are booked. The CLPNA does not get information on the date you booked until we receive the exam results.

I have had accommodations for exams throughout my Practical Nurse Program. Can I have accommodations on the CPNRE?

Yes. If you require accommodations for your exam, please Email Student Services for the application form. You should apply for accommodations as soon as possible when you submit your application for the CPNRE. This will help ensure there is no delay in providing the requested accommodations.

Is there study material available for the CPNRE?

There is a prep guide available which can be purchased at www.cpnre.ca/about-the-exam. You are also encouraged to read through the exam blueprint, use your resources from school, and notes from your program. It is recommended that you do not use the study materials for other exams such as the REx-PN or the Quebec exam to study for the CPNRE.

When will I get my exam results?

In general, the CLPNA releases exam results within 3 to 4 weeks of the testing window closing. This is dependent on when the results are received and any administrative work the CLPNA needs to complete before the results are posted.

How will I know when the results are posted?

The CLPNA will send an email informing writer when the results are posted on myCLPNA.

What happens if I pass the exam?

If you pass the exam and hold a provisional practice permit, your provisional practice permit will be changed to an active permit 1 to 2 business days after the results are posted. There is no additional fee when you are switched to active status.

What happens if I fail my exam?

If an exam results in a failure, the CLPNA will send out an email with a performance report on how you performed on the exam within 5 business days of posting the exam results. This performance report will identify areas to improve for the next exam write. The CLPNA will also provide a link to the rewrite form. The form can be returned to the CLPNA through: Email Student Services. If it is your third fail on the exam and you still hold a provisional practice permit, your permit will be cancelled.

How often can I rewrite the exam?

The CLPNA has established that there needs to be a minimum of 45 days between exam attempts. If you wrote the exam in January and were unsuccessful, you would need to wait until May to attempt the exam again. This is based on when the results will be released and the CLPNA deadlines to submit your application to the testing company.

Is the exam still being offered in testing windows?

Yes. There are still designated testing windows for the exam. The CPNRE, however, is moving from 4 testing windows to 6 testing windows in 2022. Exams will now run in January, March, May, July, September, and November. For specific testing window dates, please see www.clpna.com/applicants/cpnre/.

I am a student in a province that is writing the REx-PN but am planning on moving to Alberta shortly after graduation. Should I write the REx-PN or the CPNRE?

The CLPNA encourages all graduates to write the exam in the jurisdiction where they received their education; although, it is not necessary. The CLPNA will evaluate the applicant’s practical nursing program to ensure that it aligns with the requirements for an Alberta program. This evaluation may include a review of transcripts, program outcomes, and/or curriculum. If the program taken in the other province aligns with an Alberta program, the applicant will be eligible for registration and can then write the CPNRE.

I graduated and wrote the REx-PN. I am currently registered in another province but want to apply with Alberta. Will I have to write the CPNRE?

No. The CLPNA considers applicants who are registered in another jurisdiction as meeting the requirements to practice in Alberta. There are limited exceptions that may be considered and those exceptions can be found here.

I failed the CPNRE. Can I now write the REx-PN?

To determine if you can write the REx-PN, you would need to contact one of the jurisdictions who offer that exam and find out their criteria for being eligible.


QUESTIONS?

For more information, please contact:

Email Student Services

Ask CLPNA or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta), or 780-484-8886.