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Passing the NCLEX-RN: A new way to assess IENs' nursing knowledge, skill and judgment

On Mar. 4, 2021, Council decided that the approved process for evaluating Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) applicants for registration as an RN in Ontario be amended to include passing the NCLEX-RN exam on or after Jan. 1, 2015. Passing the exam will serve as evidence that an applicant has demonstrated the required entry-level nursing knowledge, skill and judgement to meet the nursing education requirement.

We have started a comprehensive review of the application process. The goals of this review are to make our assessment practices more efficient, update our policies related to four registration requirements, and reduce the time it takes qualified IEN applicants to become eligible to register in Ontario.

IEN applicants who apply to CNO after completing the NNAS process and who have been identified as not having equivalent nursing knowledge, skill and judgment based on the NNAS’ nursing education assessment will now meet the nursing education requirement, if they successfully completed the NCLEX-RN exam on or after Jan. 1, 2015. For other applicants, CNO will continue to evaluate practice-related documentation (for example, current/past RN employment) to determine if it addresses any gaps in nursing knowledge, skill and judgement identified in the NNAS assessment.

The NCLEX-RN is a valid and reliable measure of an applicant’s entry-level nursing knowledge, skill and judgment required for safe nursing practice.

For more information, read these Frequently Asked Questions.

Page last reviewed March 19, 2021