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A Newcomer’s Perspective in Passing the Nursing Exams in Canada: Ten Reasons Why They Think I Won’t Make It.


I passed my exams on the first time

To upgrade from being registered as a nurse in the Philippines and practice nursing in Canada have seven requirements that includes 3 exams (as of this writing). These nursing exams for internationally trained nurses are the National Nursing Exam (CRNE (RN) or CPNRE (RPN)), Nursing Jurisprudence Exam and an English Exam (IELTS or CELBAN).

I utilized all my network and options to ease my route; however, there are still people who told me I cannot do it. They did not help me, but guess what, I realized that they may be right; so I looked up these weaknesses, took action, and decided to prove them wrong. These maybe are the ten reasons why they think I can’t make it. I hope my reflection will help you:

  1. I need more than a refresher course to review Nursing Concepts. Most of the nurse immigrants who came to Canada had been out of school for many years and had been practicing their profession. Fair enough reason since although we practice base from theory; there is something about being bookish.


  1. I forgot the Basics of Nursing. Nurse immigrants are usually having specialization if not have outstanding years in practice to be in advance set up; since nursing exams are entry level exam – good reason to fail. These specialized nurses may have forgotten some of the aspects in other field. ( e.g. an OR Nurse in a Paediatric concept)
  2. English or French is not my first language. Good reason. Examinations are in English or in French; and when I took my exam I understood what they meant. I took my exam in English and realized it’s also an English exam since it includes English-based situations.


  1. I have no idea how questions are asked. A good question has a definite answer. But not all questions make sense. So might as well study HOW they asked question.


  1. Definitely I will not know the answer. One thing about Canadian exam is it covers a Canada-wide practice standard. Answers are in Canadian perspective. So, how our standard fit with their standard? It’s something worth discovering.


  1. It’s a different kind of exam. It’s Canada! Exams are designed for Canadian, it’s your techniques on how to approach the exam that matters.


  1. You haven’t had nursing exam for how many years? That something that out-of-school-nurses-and-hospital-based-nurses haven’t had for many years; and test taking skills is vital in writing examinations.


  1. And what practice questions do you have? Everyone who had passed nursing exams knows how important practice questions are, right?


  1. You will fail – there’s no question about it. Fail now while on practice questions, so you will pass on the actual exam. What I mean if you fail to prepare then you are preparing to fail.


  1. What do you think? When people told me I can`t make it (yes, they are just around) I had some time of thinking if they were right. But it’s all in the mind, if I think the same way as they told me. I won`t make it probably.


Some people are not helping and after all that we have been going through, our confidence is waning. I have been there; I advised you just to bring back the confidence you have had. You are great and you will help many people as nurses. Canada needs us; we just have to prove them that we are able. Sometimes it take someone to tell you: `you can` and the things to do. Let me be that person. Let me tell you now, “Hey, you can! 100%!”


About Chek, RN(Ph)-RPN

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