We acknowledge that Manitoba is on the original lands of the Dakota, Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dené, Inuit and Métis Nation. We acknowledge that the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba is located on Treaty One territory. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, and we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past. We dedicate ourselves to moving forward in partnership with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

RPNCE Frequently Asked Questions


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.

Can I work while waiting to write the RPNCE?

Yes, if you have graduate registration. 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.

Do I have to write the next available exam date after I have been assessed as eligible?


How many times can I write the exam?

You can attempt the RPNCE three times. If you are not successful on your third attempt, you will need to complete an approved psychiatric nursing refresher program before any further attempts.

Applying for eligibility to write the exam

Do I still apply to the RPN regulatory body in my province of study to write the exam?

Yes. You will continue to apply to write the exam through the regulatory body. Once we have determined your eligibility to write the exam, you will be able to schedule to write the exam in available testing centres.
This is booked through Meazure Learning.

Can I apply to write the RPNCE if I haven’t graduated from my nursing program 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 CRPNM on time (eight weeks before the examination date).

At the conclusion of your practicum, your educational institution will submit proof that you have completed the program. If you are unable to complete your practicum, you can request to withdraw from the examination. If you request a withdrawal less than 10 days before the exam date, you will forfeit your exam fee. If you need to request a withdrawal, contact CRPNM.

What if I apply late?

If you do not meet the application deadline, you will not be able to write that sitting of the RPNCE. You will have to wait to apply for the next available exam date.

What if I require a testing accommodation?

If you have a documented disability or special need that requires a testing accommodation, please contact CRPNM as soon as possible to learn more about the request for accommodations process. It can take up to 12 weeks for CRPNM to assess an accommodation request, so it is important that you apply early. You will be asked to submit documentation completed by a qualified health professional (e.g. a physician or psychologist) to certify that you require the accommodation.

Please see our fees and dates schedule.

Can I write the RPNCE in another province?

Yes. The RPNCE is available to be written in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. You will be asked for your preferred exam writing location when you pay your exam fee to the exam provider, Meazure Learning. Even if you wish to write the RPNCE in another province, please apply for registration with the regulatory body in the province where your education program is located.

Please note: While efforts will be made to schedule exam writers in their preferred writing location, venues are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. If your preferred location is not available, Meazure Learning will work with you to determine an appropriate location.​​​

Testing location

Can I choose where I write the RPNCE?

You will select a preferred exam location when you pay your exam fee to Meazure Learning. Efforts will be made to accommodate your preference, but venues are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your preferred location is not available, Meazure Learning will work with you to determine an appropriate location.

Can I change my exam location?

No. Your exam date and location cannot be changed once it has been booked by Meazure Learning.

Preparing for the RPNCE

Will the test be completed by pencil and paper or by computer?

In May 2024, the RPNCE will transition to a linear-on-the- fly testing (LOFT) computer-based exam. Learn more about computer-based testing below.

Is there a prep or study guide available?

The Registered Psychiatric Nurse Regulators of Canada (RPNRC) has released tools to help candidates prepare for the RPNCE:

Important: Please use extreme caution in purchasing any third-party prep guide or practice test that promises to prepare you for the RPNCE, other than the official RPNRC tool linked above.

Do questions have more than one correct answer?

A multiple-choice question is constructed so that only someone who has mastered the subject matter will select the correct answer; to that person, only one option will appear to be the correct answer. To someone who lacks a firm grasp of the subject matter, all options may look plausible.

How is the correct answer determined?

RPN subject matter experts from across Canada create and evaluate the exam questions with assistance from test consultants. They ensure that the RPNCE meets the Blueprint guidelines and is valid and reliable.

The correct answer to each question on the exam is supported by references from two expert sources in the field. Every attempt has been made to use references that are up-to-date, accessible, and accepted within the psychiatric nursing community.

Does each question have equal weight on the exam?

Each exam question has the same value: one mark. Your score on the exam is calculated as the number of questions that you answer correctly.

Are there any questions that you must answer correctly to pass the exam?

There are no critical questions that a candidate must answer correctly to receive a passing score on the RPNCE. Each exam question has the same value: one mark.

How is the pass mark for the exam set?

The pass mark is determined by the content and the difficulty of the test questions included in each exam. The pass mark is set at a level that represents the performance expected of a competent entry-level psychiatric nurse. It is set by a panel of subject matter experts from across Canada who work closely with entry-level registered psychiatric nurses and include educators, experienced practitioners, and administrators. The pass mark is the same across writing centres and across the four western provinces.


Is it possible to withdraw from the exam?

If you need to withdraw from the exam, please contact CRPNM as soon as possible. If you choose to withdraw less than 10 days before the exam date, you will forfeit your exam fee. If you choose to write the exam at a later date, you will be required to pay the exam fee again.

Day of the exam

Is there anything I should know about the day of the examination?

Your exam booking confirmation email will include all the necessary information you must have to write the exam, so be sure to read it carefully. Meazure will send this after you have completed your booking.

If I’m late for the exam, will I still be able to write?

You will be admitted to the exam up to 30 minutes after the start of the exam, but you will not receive any additional time. If you arrive 30 minutes after the exam starts, you will not be permitted to write the exam and will forfeit your exam fee. Please contact CRPNM for next steps.

Will an online calculator be provided?

Yes, an on-screen calculator will be available for use throughout the exam.

How long is the exam?

You have up to four hours to write the exam.

Will breaks be provided?

No scheduled breaks are planned, but unscheduled breaks can be taken as required, at the discretion of the invigilator. Any unscheduled breaks you take during the exam will be included in your four-hour exam time; no extra time will be provided.

Exam results

When do the results come out?

Exam results are released in 4-6 weeks of writing the exam. You will receive your test result by email from CRPNM. Your result will be listed as pass or fail, rather than a score or mark. If you fail, you will also receive an exam profile that summarizes your performance.

Can I continue to work as a Graduate if I fail the exam?

You can continue to practice as a Graduate RPN if you fail on your first exam attempt. If you fail the exam a second time, you are ineligible for Graduate registration.

Can I dispute the result?

Scores are not provided to candidates. Borderline exams are automatically re-scored. You may apply to have your examination rescored up to 12 weeks after exam day. Please contact CRPNM to request a rescore. There is a fee for a rescore.

How many times can I write the exam?

You can take the exam three times within four years of graduation from an approved psychiatric nursing program (or, for international applicants, within two years of approval to write the examination).

Linear-on-the-fly (LOFT) testing

About LOFT

LOFT allows the delivery of a fixed-length examination by selecting items from a pre-approved pool. Each candidate is presented with a different set of items. Items are selected so that the final forms match blueprint specifications, and are equivalent in terms of content and difficulty. The passmark is also pre-equated to ensure that the same standard is maintained regardless of the items selected.


The main purpose of LOFT is to enhance security of large testing and produce candidate results more quickly. In terms of examination security, items can become compromised by being dispersed candidate-to-candidate. LOFT addresses this by giving every candidate a test that is equivalent in terms of content and difficulty, but the actual set and order of the items are allowed to vary. Very few, if any, candidates will see the same form. Because examination forms are preequated, candidate results can also be obtained more quickly.

Will Examination Development Change?

Items will continue to be developed and approved by Canadian subject matter experts nominated by participating regulatory authorities. However, rather than subject matter experts approving forms of the RPNCE, they will approve a large pool of items. Prior to being administered, all items will be pre-tested in order to determine statistical properties. Test forms will be built automatically by algorithms based on blueprint parameters.

Will the Candidate Experience Change?

The impact on candidates will be minimal. Once candidates have gone through all the questions of the LOFT examination form, a question review screen will be shown and allow the candidates to return to any or all questions that they wish to review, confirm or modify their answers and answer unanswered questions. LOFT allows candidates to review all questions and change their answers throughout the examination session.

College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba

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