Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) computer-based examination
Before you can become a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) in Ontario, you must successfully complete the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE). This national examination measures the competencies required of nurses at the beginning of their nursing career in Ontario.
Practical Nurse educators, clinicians and administrators from across Canada develop the exam with assistance from Yardstick Assessment Strategies Inc., which ensures the CPNRE meets industry-accepted standards. Provincial and territorial regulatory authorities administer the exam within their jurisdictions and determine writing eligibility.
The CPNRE consists of 165 to 170 objective multiple-choice questions to answer over four hours.
You have three chances to successfully complete the CPNRE. See Repeat Attempts and Options when failing the CPNRE: Frequently asked questions to learn what happens if you reach the maximum number of tries.
Deadline to apply
|June 8 to June 28, 2020||June 16, 2020|
|September 7 to September 27, 2020||September 15, 2020|
|November 9 to November 29, 2020||November 17, 2020|
- Only one exam window (the window with the nearest dates) is open for scheduling at any time.
- A candidate who cancels or fails to attend a scheduled writing of an examination will be charged a cancellation fee of $73.45.
New exam to replace CPNRE in January 2022
As of January 2022, a new exam for RPN applicants, known as the REx-PN™ will replace the CPNRE as the official registration exam for Practical Nurses. The CPNRE will no longer be an option for Ontario applicants after December 31, 2021.
CNO and the British Columbia College of Nurse Professionals (BCCNP) are working together to develop a new exam for RPNs. We have partnered with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) in the exam's development and implementation. The Regulatory Exam–Practical Nurse™ (REx-PN) is slated to launch in January 2022.