Anyone applying to practise as a registered nurse in Alberta who hasn't passed a Canadian licensing exam must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam. Passing the exam is one of several requirements set by CARNA for entry to practice.
The NCLEX is an exam for the licensing of nurses administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and delivered by Pearson VUE. It tests the competencies nurses need at the beginning of their careers.
CARNA assesses an applicant's eligibility to write the exam, and grants access to the NCLEX for applicants wishing to be registered in Alberta.
of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website
Full details about the process of taking the NCLEX including what you need to know before the exam, for exam day and after the exam.
Test plan for
Outlines the content covered on the exam and includes sample questions. It is critical that students thoroughly review the test plan.
Learn about the processes NCSBN takes to develop and maintain the validity and reliability of the NCLEX.
To reschedule your exam, contact Pearson VUE.
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CT)
If you need to re-take the exam, take your time to prepare. While you are eligible to take the exam again in 45 days, we recommend that you review NCSBN's exam resources before you apply again.
If you have a temporary permit and fail the exam, there may be additional conditions placed on your permit.
At this time, applicants may only write the exam three times. You must notify CARNA of any past or future attempts at a registration exam in Canada. If you were also unsuccessful in passing the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) or Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ) professional nursing exam, the result counts as one of your three attempts.
Will this change?
Yes. Our new regulations will allow multiple attempts within two years from the time you complete your program.
Will there be other changes?
Writers who failed the exam twice may have additional conditions applied to their provisional registration or may have their provisional registration cancelled until they pass the exam. NCLEX’s policy that candidates can only take the exam every 45 days to ensure they do not see the same question in a two-year period will still apply.
When will these changes be effective?
These changes cannot be implemented until the Registered Nurse Profession Regulation under the Health Professions Act is amended. We continue to work with the Alberta government to have the amendments approved. We will make an announcement on our website when we have more information about a possible effective date.
If you are ready to re-test, you can complete the two steps outlined below before the 45-day waiting period is complete. However you will not be given authorization to test until the waiting period is over.