Along with other registration requirements, most applicants registering with the College of Nurses of Ontario must successfully complete two examinations: a registration examination and a jurisprudence examination. The registration exam tests for knowledge, skill and judgment nurses need at the beginning of their careers in Ontario. The jurisprudence exam tests knowledge of nursing and health care legislation in Ontario. Both tests help ensure that all new nurses in Ontario are safe to practice.

Registration Examinations

Registration examinations assess whether applicants have the nursing knowledge, skills and judgment required to practice safely at the beginning of their careers in Ontario. See individual exam pages
for information about the exam:  

Registered Nurse Examinations

If you are applying to become a Registered Nurse in the General Class, you will write the NCLEX-RN.

Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination

If you are applying to become a Registered Practical Nurse in the General Class, you will write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE).

Nurse Practitioner Examinations

Applicants to the Extended Class must write the examination appropriate for the specialty certificate (Adult, Paediatric, Primary Health Care) for which they have applied.

 Jurisprudence Examination

The College’s jurisprudence examination assesses an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the laws, regulations, by-laws, practice standards and guidelines that govern the nursing profession in Ontario. It is a computer-based examination that can be completed by the applicant at any time.

Applicants registering as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) in the General, Temporary or Special Assignment Classes must pass the Registered Nurse/Registered Practical Nurse Jurisprudence Examination before they can be registered.

Those applying to become Nurse Practitioners must pass the Registered Nurse (Extended Class) Jurisprudence Examination before they can be registered.

“I'm going to write an exam soon as part of my application. Can you recommend a preparation course that can help me write it?”

To maintain the integrity of the exam, the CNO does not participate in developing preparatory courses. Courses offered by third-party vendors are not associated with nor endorsed by CNO.


Page last reviewed April 17, 2018