On This Page

Jurisprudence Examination

The College of Nurses of Ontario’s (CNO’s) jurisprudence examination assesses an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the laws, regulations, by-laws and practice standards and guidelines that govern the nursing profession in Ontario.

All applicants wishing to register in the General, Temporary, or Special Assignment classes must successfully pass the Registered Nurse (RN)/Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) Jurisprudence Examination.

Applicants wishing to register as Nurse Practitioners (NPs) must pass the Registered Nurse (Extended Class) Jurisprudence Examination.

The jurisprudence examination is not part of annual renewal, and current registrants will not be required to take the exam unless they are applying to change their category or class. (For example, a nurse in the General Class applying to join the Extended Class, or an RPN registrant applying to become an RN registrant needs to have passed the jurisprudence examination.)

The examination is completed online through a secure learning management website that can be accessed only by applicants to CNO. Examination pass results are valid for five years. 

It’s important to note that the jurisprudence examination is the same when applying to become an RN or an RPN. Therefore, if a current RPN registrant wants to become a RN registrant, or vice versa, they will not have to write the examination unless they:

  1. have never written it previously, or 
  2. previously wrote it more than five years ago


The jurisprudence examination consists of an e-learning module with a multiple-choice examination.

The examination assesses the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the nursing profession in Ontario. The RN/RPN and RN(EC) jurisprudence e-learning modules will each feature five chapters.

  • Chapter 1 - Nursing regulation
    • Role of the regulator
    • Concept of public protection
    • Key legislation governing nursing practice in Ontario 
  • Chapter 2 - Scope of practice
    • Legal scope of practice for nursing in Ontario as set out in legislation
    • Nursing roles and responsibilities
  • Chapter 3 - Professional accountability and responsibility
    • Components of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship
    • Professional boundaries
    • Mandatory reporting
    • Professional misconduct
  • Chapter 4 - CNO Practice Standards
    • Practice standards and ethical considerations that outline expectations of nurses to protect the public
  • Chapter 5 - Quality assurance (QA) and continuing competence
    • Purpose and components of CNO’s QA program
    • Self-assessment, practice assessment and peer assessment
    • Continuing competence

Laws, regulations and standards of practice unique to NP practice in Ontario are also assessed in the RN(EC) Jurisprudence Examination. CNO has developed a guide to support applicants in navigating the jurisprudence exam on the CNO learning management platform.

Types of Questions

Both the RN/RPN Jurisprudence Examination and RN(EC) Jurisprudence Examination consist of multiple-choice questions designed to assess an applicant’s competencies at three different levels of cognitive ability:

  • Knowledge and comprehension – the ability to recall and understand relevant content
  • Application – the ability to apply knowledge and comprehension in a straightforward situation
  • Critical thinking – the ability to apply knowledge and comprehension in complex situations through analytical problem solving

CNO has developed a sample of the types of questions you can expect to see on the jurisprudence examination. 

Taking the examination 

The jurisprudence examinations are completed online and accessed by the applicant through a secure website.

Once applicants have submitted their CNO application online and paid the application fee, they will receive a message in their Maintain Your Membership (MYM) applicant portal informing them to pay the jurisprudence examination fee to access the exam. Once payment is received, a follow up message and link in the MYM portal will give applicants access to the online examination through a secure website.

The RN/RPN Jurisprudence Examination consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. Applicants have 30 days from the date their payment is processed to take the jurisprudence examination.

The RN(EC) Jurisprudence Examination consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. Applicants  have 30 days from the date their payment is processed to take the jurisprudence examination.

Jurisprudence examinations are “open-book” exams, which means that applicants may use online or offline resources, such as, laws, regulations or CNO’s practice standards, while writing the examination. However, since there is a wide range of material covered, it is strongly recommended that applicants do a thorough review of the recommended study material before taking the examination. 

The examination is intended to be written by individuals working on their own. It cannot be written together with other applicants. 

Review Frequently Asked Questions: Jurisprudence Examination for answers to questions on exam eligibility, preparation and navigating through the exam.

Examination Fee

There is a fee of $40 (CDN), plus applicable taxes, to write the jurisprudence examination. Applicants can pay the fee through their MYM applicant portal account. Upon receipt of payment, the applicant can attempt the jurisprudence examination.

Applicants have 30 days to access and write the exam. Within the 30 days’ access period, the applicant can reattempt the examination to pass, at no extra cost. If a rewrite is required, applicants will have to wait one hour before attempting the examination again. Applicants may complete the exam at their own pace; you may complete it in one sitting or save your place in the exam, return to it later and resume where you left off





To request an accessible version of any document on this page, please contact us.

Page last reviewed July 16, 2023