Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Apply to Write the RPNCE if I Haven’t Graduated Yet?
Yes, if you are in the final term of a psychiatric nursing education program and you have started, or are about to start, the final practicum of the program. However, you will need to meet the other requirements for registration, including submitting your application, payment and required documents to the CRPNM on time (8 weeks before the examination date).
At the conclusion of your practicum, your educational institution will submit proof that you have completed the program. This does not have to be received by the application deadline. If you are unable to complete your practicum, you can withdraw from the examination and receive a refund of the examination fee, but a withdrawal fee of 10% plus tax may apply.
What if I Have to Withdraw from the Scheduled Examination?
Withdrawals for any reason are permitted without cost if you notify the CRPNM up to 5 weeks before the examination date.
After the 5-week deadline, there is a withdrawal fee of 10% of the examination fee plus a $50.00 administration fee, unless the fee is waived on compassionate grounds (e.g., serious illness, death or an act of God). Compassionate withdrawals must meet the criteria as defined in the policies as set out by ASI and RPNC. Requests for compassionate withdrawal must be made to the CRPNM no later than 12 days after the examination date and must include documentation supporting the withdrawal.
What Does the RPNCE Test?
The 4-hour examination has approximately 200 multiple choice questions. The object is to test entry-level competencies and knowledge. For more information about the content, see the Examination Content Blueprint.
Is There Anything I Should Know about the Day of the Examination?
Allow plenty of travel time and arrive at least 45 minutes before the start time so you are not rushed during check-in. You must bring government photo ID like a driver’s license or passport. For information on what to wear and what you can and cannot bring, see the Entry Into Exam Room Policy
Can I Work While Waiting to Write the RPNCE?
Yes, if you have Graduate Registration status. Graduate registration is available to those who meet all of the requirements for registration as a psychiatric nurse except for passing the examination. You must have applied for and be waiting to write the next scheduled examination.
What is the pass mark?
The pass mark varies with each exam. Please see the FAQ on Pass Mark.
What if I Fail the Examination?
You have 3 chances to write the examination within 4 years of graduation from an approved psychiatric nursing program (or, for international applicants, within 2 years of approval to write the examination). After the first failure, there is no barrier to writing the examination a second time except for the time limit. After the second failure, you must first take an approved remediation course before you will be permitted to write the exam a third time. After the third failure, you may not write again until you have completed an approved psychiatric nursing refresher program.
If you fail the examination and do not apply to write the next scheduled examination, your Graduate registration will be cancelled. Your Graduate registration will also be cancelled if you fail the examination twice.
Can I Dispute the Result?
Scores are not provided to candidates. If you have passed, this is all you will learn. If you have failed, you will be given an assessment of the areas you were weak in. Borderline exams are automatically re-scored by hand. You may also apply to have your examination hand scored if you notify the CRPNM up to 11 weeks after the examination and pay a fee equal to 10% of the examination fee (plus tax).