Canadian Examination for Baccalaureate Nursing

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) is pleased to announce the launch of a voluntary, bilingual national exam for graduates of baccalaureate programs of nursing.

To what end?

CASN’s mandate is to promote high quality nursing education in Canada. To this end, graduates of Canadian baccalaureate nursing programs are invited to take this exam. Success provides official recognition of the essential components of baccalaureate education for nursing in the Canadian context.

What is tested?

The exam assesses candidates’ mastery of the essential components of CASN’s National Nursing Education Framework for baccalaureate education. These incorporate national academic expectations for baccalaureate level education and professional nursing competencies.


How is the exam developed?

Extensive psychometric expertise guides the design, development and administration of this rigorous high stakes certification exam. In addition, state-of-the-art software for computer-based bilingual testing in Canada is used.

The exam methodology includes:

  • competency and blueprint development; practice analysis
  • subject matter expert panels representing the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, the National Interprofessional Education Group, Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada), and the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association;
  • pilot testing and statistical review (begins January 2019);
  • in-depth psychometric analyses and validation; and
  • panel reviews for workplace applicability and cultural sensitivity.

Who develops the exam?

A national advisory stakeholder group guides the process. Members represent nursing service, education, and regulation and are from all regions of Canada and from other health professions.

An exam committee of experienced test developers in nursing and other health professions is responsible for the exam blueprint.

What makes it a bilingual exam?

  • English and French panels of nurse educators and clinicians develop questions: 75% are written in English and translated, and 25% in French and translated.
  • A rigorous Canadian translation method for high-stakes exams and experienced translators ensure an equivalent exam in English and French.
  • The exam software allows candidates to toggle from one language to the other.
  • All exam resources are in both official languages.

What will it cost candidates?

  • As low as possible (not a profit generating exam)


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