The differences between Americans and Canadians is a favourite topic of debate north of the 49th parallel. Although our two countries certainly have their own quirks, in the end there are more similarities between the US and Canada than differences. This is something that’s reflected in the NCLEX-RN, which replaced Canada’s former CRNE nursing entry-to-practice examination in January 2015.
Though the health-care systems in Canada and the US are of course different, the NCLEX-RN, which both countries’ new nurses must write, is the same. With the NCLEX’s roots in America—having been the standard there since 1994—what does this mean for Canadian nurses?
With any change comes apprehension, and PRIMED’s two-day intensive NCLEX-RN prep course addresses this head on. PRIMED knows that in addition to the nursing knowledge base needed to pass the test, there are a few things to know about the NCLEX-RN itself before sitting down to write it.
First off, you can rest easy: Canadian nurses have had a hand in shaping the NCLEX-RN to make sure Canadians taking the test don’t come up short, and Canadian-based nurses will continue to shape the exam by sitting on future item development panels.
All of our classically Canadian spellings and phrases—imperial vs. metric measurements, color vs. colour, car vs. canoe—have been accounted for, and won’t mean the difference between a right and a wrong answer. For the country’s French-speaking nurses, the translation of NCLEX-RN questions is looked after not just by professional translators, but is checked for context by (clearly very clever) bilingual Canadian nurses.
However, since there is no content difference between the NCLEX-RN administered in the two countries, Canadian test takers need to be aware of the different approaches to care between the Canadian and the US systems. That’s why PRIMED’s exam prep instructors are here to help you build up a strong knowledge of these differences—which simultaneously reinforces all you need to know about practice as a nurse in Canada.
Most can agree that an update to the CRNE was long overdue, and the NCLEX-RN, with its fancy computer adaptive testing, brings Canada’s nursing entry examination happily into the twenty-first century. Taking the same NCLEX-RN north of the border as south in many cases even means one less hurdle in getting licensed to work in America, which is great for any nurses hoping to do a bit of work-led travel.
The NCLEX-RN exam and its format is overall a win for Canadian nurses—it just requires a pinch more knowledge of how our neighbours to the south approach practice.
PRIMED will make sure you’re up to speed on all the new factors the NCLEX-RN brings, including learning more about how our nursing pals down in America do what they do.