Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) Computer- Based Examination

Before you can become a Registered Practical Nurse 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 a four-hour period.

You have three chances to successfully complete the CPNRE. See Repeat Attempts to learn what happens if you reach the maximum number of tries. 

Examination window

Deadline to apply

January 29 to February 18, 2018 December 11, 2017
June 11 to July 1, 2018 May 14, 2018
September 17 to October 7, 2018 TBD
November 19 to December 9, 2018 TBD

Project to update RPN competencies and exam

We’ve started working with nine other provincial/territorial regulators of practical nurses in Canada to develop a consistent national approach to the entry-level competencies of RPNs. No implementation dates have yet been set for this project, and it will not impact the current cohort of RPN students. For the latest on this project, please visit: Updating RPN competencies and exam

Page last reviewed January 15, 2018