August 2016

Progress on registration regulation changes

In June, we asked for your input on proposed changes to the registration regulation. On July 28, after considering feedback from nurses, applicants and other stakeholders, Council approved sending the proposed changes to the Ontario government for its review and approval. We should know the results in the near future.

The registration regulation sets conditions that Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) must meet to practise in Ontario. If the government agrees to the changes, the most immediate impact will be seen in two areas:

  1. Removing “in Ontario” from the annual declaration of practice requirements for members — instead of those who haven't practised "nursing in Ontario," only members who haven't practised "nursing" in the past three years will be asked to join the Non-Practising Class or resign.

  2. Changes to examination requirements that could affect the number of writes allowed for an entry-to-practice exam, and the requirement to complete another specified nursing program if a writer fails the exam after the maximum number of attempts.

If the government approves the relevant changes to the exam regulations, the College will implement having no limit on the number of writes of the NCLEX-RN exam. This decision is based on thorough research showing that this change will not negatively impact public safety. The research included reviews of legal, literature and statistical evidence, and the findings of a national work group that analyzed the NCLEX-RN psychometrics, design and administration policies.

The NCLEX-RN exam is the only computer-adaptive test approved by Council — this unique exam is designed so that any successful write is a true measure of an applicant’s ability to practise safely as an RN in their first year of practice. Council is not proposing changing the number of writes on any other entry-to-practice exam, as they are not computer-adaptive exams.

For more details on these proposed changes, including the rationale for proposing them, read the June issue of The Standard.

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