Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) computer-based examination

CPNRE 

For exam scheduling and rescheduling information, please contact Pearson Vue, or visit Pearson Vue’s CPNRE information page for the latest news about the availability of exam centres.

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. 

Examination window

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

Note:

  • 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.

For the latest on this project, please visit: Updating RPN competencies and exam and FAQs about REx-PN.

Page last reviewed June 18, 2020