SEC Assessment

An SEC assessment is an evaluation that uses a variety of strategies (multiple choice and short answer exams, interview type case management situations, clinical lab role play situations, and self-assessment) to assess professional knowledge, skills, attributes, values and judgements. These different strategies are designed to determine whether an applicant currently possesses the CARNA Entry to Practice competencies that are required to fulfill the roles and responsibilities expected of RNs in Alberta. It will also identify if any competency gaps exist, and to what extent.

Due to the recent closure of Mount Royal University's SEC assessment services, SEC assessments are not offered within Alberta at this time. However, CARNA has made arrangements to have SEC assessments conducted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University at their existing IEN Assessment Centre in Langley, British Columbia so that applications are not delayed. If you are referred for SEC assessment as part of your application for licensure in Alberta, your assessment will take place at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

An applicant may be referred by CARNA for an assessment in any combination of the following areas:

  • General nursing
  • Maternal Newborn Health Nursing focus
  • Child Health Nursing focus
  • Mental Health Nursing focus

A “General” SEC assessment takes 2 days and assesses general nursing knowledge and skills for a variety of settings as well as some focused (specialty) health areas. A “Focus” SEC assessment takes 1-1.5 days and assesses knowledge specific to the required specialty. A “Complete” SEC assessment covers all areas and takes 5 days to complete.

The different type of SEC assessment assesses the following areas of nursing knowledge and practice:

  • Generalist and/or specialty nursing knowledge and application
  • Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology and medication administration
  • Health history and health assessment knowledge and skills
  • Basic and advanced clinical skills as well as use of current technology in nursing practice
  • Clinical judgement, critical thinking, decision making and evidence informed practice
  • Knowledge of the Canadian health-care system and current nursing practices
  • Professional responsibility and accountability
  • Therapeutic communication practices
  • Cultural competencies
  • Ethical decision making skills
  • Regulation of the profession
  • CARNA Nursing Practice Standards and CNA Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses