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Important clarification: RN exam requirement for entry to practice

CNO advises RN students, educators and applicants that the CASN “certification exam” is not a replacement for passing the NCLEX-RN and will not be used in CNO’s registration process.

CASN recently announced details about a future “certification exam” aimed at baccalaureate students. The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) wants to clarify the confusion being generated from this announcement. 

The CASN exam is not a regulatory entry-to-practice exam — the NCLEX-RN is a legislated mandatory requirement to become an RN in Ontario.  

CNO’s sole mandate is to protect the public. This mandate includes having the legal authority to set an exam to test that an applicant’s education has adequately prepared them to provide safe care to patients. In contrast, CASN is a voluntary organization of schools of nursing that does not have the legal mandate to confirm that a person has met the requirements to practice in Canada. 

For more information about the NCLEX-RN and CNO’s registration requirements, please see Registration Requirements at cno.org 

Page last reviewed September 17, 2018