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Next Generation NCLEX (NGN): FAQ for educators and schools

Preparing your students 

Are there NGN prep materials and resources for students?

You can refer students to:

Are there any NGN resources specifically for educators?

Educators should familiarize themselves with Test Plans, and can enroll in Understanding the NGN. This online course will provide you with information about the exam's history, format, testing methods and processes. 

Should students take NGN prep courses?

Your students’ nursing education and the resources mentioned above should be enough to prepare for the NGN. While third-party vendors offer NGN preparation courses, they are not associated with, or endorsed by, CNO or the exam provider. No third party has access to the NGN question bank; exam writers should be wary of any party claiming to have such access. We are aware of “American” content in some preparation courses. However, the exam does not test a writer’s knowledge of a particular health care system, history or legislation.

What should I do if my student has to re-write the NGN?

First, be encouraging. It is not unusual for a writer to make an unsuccessful attempt, but to succeed later on.

As an educator, you are in an excellent position to support students developing study plans. Students who do not pass the NGN receive a Candidate’s Performance Report (CPR). This report provides the writer with information about how they did in each section of the exam. Help your students review the CPR and relate it to the content of their nursing program, reminding them of content from earlier years.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing's (NCSBN's) After the Exam page includes information about using the CPR to help students prepare for re-writing the exam.

Finally, encourage the student to review the prep material on the NCBSN website.

Results Reports 

How do schools obtain reports about their program’s exam results?

Canadian schools can subscribe to twice-yearly exam results reports for their programs from Mountain Measurement. Mountain Measurement is the company that compiles and analyzes NGN data. Schools that subscribe receive results reports for their programs in May and November.

To learn more, see a sample results report and subscribe, visit Mountain Measurement’s NGN Program Reports page.

When will the College of Nurses of Ontario release more results about the NGN?

See the College’s comprehensive Nursing Registration Exams Report, which includes individual program results and NGN results for each year. 

Content and Format 

Does the NGN include questions specifically about Canadian or American health care systems or legislation?

No. The NGN does not test knowledge of health care systems, history, cultural issues, or government policy and laws. Not only do such items vary by province and territory in Canada, they vary across states in the U.S.

While nurses working in any specific jurisdictions have to know about the health care system they work in, including legislation, testing for that knowledge is not the purpose of the NGN. Applicants to CNO write a Jurisprudence Exam that tests for this.

Is the NGN’s content reviewed by Canadian nurses?

Yes. Canadian nurses, including clinical educators, reviewed the content for the current NGN. They continue to review and develop the exam to ensure it meets CNO’s needs as regulators, and the public's need for safe nursing care.

Periodically, NCSBN seeks Canadian nurse volunteers to review the NGN; see the Volunteer section.

What is computer-adaptive testing?

Computer-adaptive testing (CAT) is the format of the NGN exam. Using CAT, the program determines the level of difficulty of the question it presents to the writer based on how well they responded to the preceding question.

For example, if a writer responded correctly to a question of medium difficulty, the next question presented will be slightly more difficult. This video will provide you with more information about CAT and its use in the NGN.


Why did Ontario start using the NGN? 

As Ontario’s nursing regulator, CNO is accountable for ensuring that registration is granted only to those who demonstrate the nursing knowledge to provide safe care. We regularly review processes for assessing this knowledge, to determine the most accessible, fair and efficient approaches. The NGN meets our requirement for being a valid exam for doing this. It also meets the needs of writers, by giving them year-round access to the exam and issuing of results quickly.

For more information about developing and administering the NGN, see Canadian Educators & Students FAQs.

Why do we have a registration exam?

Registration exams, such as the NGN, contribute to patient safety. The NGN tests whether the writer has the knowledge, skill and judgment to provide safe care during their first year of practice. As the provincial regulator of the nursing profession, CNO is accountable for ensuring that only those who demonstrate the ability to apply nursing knowledge and provide safe care are able to practice in Ontario.





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Page last reviewed May 26, 2023