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NCLEX-RN exam writers: Number of attempts continues to be three

Caution urged over misinformation being suggested about NCLEX writes

Recent social media posts by nursing students and educators are wrongly indicating there has been a change to the number of writes allowed for the NCLEX-RN exam. These posts appear to stem from misinformation within the nursing community. CNO continues to be the source for any information on the NCLEX-RN and changes to nursing regulations.

Graduates preparing to write the NCLEX-RN are strongly advised to continue to work with the understanding that the number of writes is limited to three. CNO and writers taking the exam continue to be bound by the regulation currently in effect in the province.

No amendments to the regulations governing the number of writes of NCLEX-RN have been agreed to by Ontario’s nursing regulator — the College of Nurses of Ontario  —  or by the Ontario government.

While the number of writes is under review, CNO’s council will be considering the relationship between the number of attempts on the exam and public safety. 

In June, CNO’s council will review evidence currently being collected and make a decision. In Ontario, a change to the number of writes would require a change in legislation by the provincial government. While the timeline to make such a change is unknown, CNO’s council has indicated a willingness to expedite the steps within its jurisdiction if a change of any kind is determined to be warranted. Any change would then have to be approved by government in legislation.

CNO and other regulators have had the issue of the number of writes in our plans for thorough review as part of the overall implementation of the NCLEX-RN. As a full year’s worth of data is now available, Canada’s regulators and government ministries now have the information they will need to make a sound, defensible decision that keeps the health care safety of the public as the focus. 

We are pleased to see that graduates are passing the exam in large numbers and completing the other requirements needed for them to begin providing safe care to Ontarians.

Page last reviewed March 24, 2016