September 2019

New RPN entry-to-practice competencies coming in 2020

In Sept. 2020, a set of national entry-to-practice competencies for Canadian Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) will come into effect. This is the first time RPN competencies have been created at a national level and will be consistent across jurisdictions.

The competencies are also an important part in the development of a new exam for RPNs, which is expected to launch in 2022.

To develop the competencies, we worked with the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators and other regulators across the country. We used input from educators of both English and French nursing programs, as well as recent RPN graduates, current RPNs, and other stakeholders across Canada.

The new competencies are still organized into five categories of practice: Professional, Legal, Ethical, Foundations and Collaborative, but there are a few changes:

  • categories have been streamlined by removing overlapping concepts

  • new competencies to address continuous quality improvement

  • new competencies about human rights and responding to the cultural values, needs and beliefs of others to address the call to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

  • new language to ensure the competencies are measurable

Next steps

We have shared the revised competencies with the academic community and we will continue to support nursing programs as they integrate the new competencies into their curriculums.

Between now and 2020, we will also update our Program Approval documents to align with the new competencies.

Visit Become a Nurse for more information on entry-to-practice and Nursing Education Program Approval.

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