More Alberta nursing grads are getting a failing grade this year. It’s the same trend across the country for nurses taking the new National Council Licensure Examination, which replaces a Canadian-based test.
The Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators said about 69 per cent of the 1085 graduates in Alberta passed the exam during the first six months of the year.
Dean of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing, Dianne Tapp, said their students’ scores trended higher than provincial and national averages. She said they’ve been preparing students for the new exam, but they don’t want to make changes to curriculum
“We don’t want to teach to the test per se,” Tapp explained. “We think that the Canadian nursing curriculum has a global reputation for producing top notch nurses and it’s based on competencies that have been identified by consensus across the country.”
She’s concerned that it’s an American-based test that doesn’t fit into the Canadian nursing experience.
Tapp also said regulators haven’t kept educators involved in the process of transitioning to the new exam.