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2016 NCLEX-RN: Canadian Results - Full Report

Message from CCRNR's President


As a council of regulators, we share a common legislated role: to protect the public through the regulation of nurses. The NCLEX-RN plays an integral role in meeting this mandate; it is one way that we evaluate whether an individual has the required competence to deliver care safely.


The NCLEX-RN has been in place since 2015. While maintaining the exam’s integrity requires regulators not be directly involved in preparing students to write the NCLEX-RN, we are working with educators and other stakeholders to ensure nursing graduates have what they need to write the NCLEX-RN. We also continue to work with these groups to determine what factors are influencing the outcomes of those who choose to write the exam in French.


Improvements to results reporting


In an effort to increase the value of this report for readers, we’ve made the following improvements:


  1. Writers have been grouped into cohorts of graduates, based on the year they first attempted the NCLEX. The cohorts, which replace the ultimate pass rate presented in the 2015 report, enable educators to better track how their graduates are performing on the exam over time. (Note: Writers cannot be tracked by graduation year, but most writers attempt the exam for the first time in the year they graduate).
  2. The French writers’ performance section now focuses on results of graduates from Canadian programs offering French or bilingual instruction, rather than only graduates who attempted the exam in French. It includes the results of grads of these programs who choose to write the exam in English and French.


2016 results summary


All 2016 pass rates increased over those reported in 2015. With two years of data now available, we’re able to begin to see some trends in the results:

  • The national first-attempt pass rate was higher for the 2016 cohort: 79.9% compared to 69.7% for the 2015 cohort.
  • By the end of 2016, 88.9% of the 2016 cohort had passed the NCLEX-RN. This is 4.8% higher than the 2015 cohort.
  • By the end of 2016, 92.9% of all writers who started writing in 2015 had passed the exam.




Cynthia Johansen, President

Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators



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