Tag Archives: Canadian

NCLEX did not fail the students, the Canadian Nursing Association and the regulating provincial bodies did.

I’ve been a nurse for under 5 years and I still remember all too well studying for the CRNE (Canadian Registered Nursing Exam) and the stress and anxiety I felt from it.  I  also knew that CRNE for the most part attempted to  reflect on what I learned in nursing school as well as how our Canadian Health Care system operated.

Then all of a sudden arrived the NCLEX.

A number of years ago, the CNA (Canadian Nursing Association) and the rest of the provincial nursing regulating bodies in Canada were being proposed of a new exam called the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) that would serve as a uniform way of testing all nurses both in Canada and the US (the  US has had this testing since 1994.)  This year was the first year that graduating Canadian Nurses wrote the exam.


And unfortunately many of them failed.

Questions and possible answers immediately started to arise as to why this was the case.  Blames to the type of school and programs immediately surfaced as many tried to find an answer.  Many schools however have proved that statistically prior to the NCLEX they were had successful rates with the CRNE.  So the real reason is not because these students were not smart enough.

The real reason is that simply these unfortunate students were used as guinea pigs in a failed experiment that did not prepare them.

It seems the one thing that was often overlooked and what some organizations such as the RNAO (Registered Nursing Association of Ontario) had chanted for years is that simply nursing in Canada is different from the nursing in the United States.   Nursing up here tends to be more psycho-social where in the United States it is more bio-medical and pathophysiological.  There is no argument as to which one is better or worse but it is also unfair to subject a test to nursing students who essentially spent four years if not more studying and learning nursing in a Canadian health care system to only be subjected to a licensing exam that does not reflect this at all.

Furthermore, a lot of nursing schools did not have enough time or prep for these graduating students to take the NCLEX exam.  Most of the prep exams for students are based on the CRNE format.  A brand new curriculum would have to be implemented to prepare these students and usually preparing such curriculum can take months if not years.

What I always found quite odd (and also a waste of money) is that though the NCLEX is an American standardize test, as Canadians if we want to practice in the United States, we have to take yet another NCLEX just to practice in the few states that we are allowed to if we chose to practice south of the border.

In my department where I currently worked, we hired 8 new graduate nurses who all took the new NCLEX.  Out of the 8, only one passed.  This is a staggering number considering in the past, most if not all of our new grad nurses d passed the CRNE.  As a new graduate nurse, I can only imagine  how detrimental this must feel, especially if this was your first nursing job to only have taken away from you because of this botched exam.

I wish I could give advice to these new students but because I have not written the “Canadian NCLEX” it would be like the blind leading the blind.  But more importantly I wish the CNA and the other regulating bodies across the country can see that this was not implemented or planned properly and perhaps was a big mistake.

And most importantly…….If ain’t broke…..don’t fix.



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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Jamaican Canadian Study on Nurses Published

After months and months of hard work our nursing study is now published!!!! Professor Samuels-Dennis, fellow York student and friend Melanie York, and myself spent months and months working on a study that is now published in a book called: JAMAICA IN THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE. A MULTICULTURALIZING PRESENCE by Carl E. James and Andrea Davis.

Our study is in Chapter 5 entitled: The Transformational Influences of Jamaican Nurses on the Canadian Health Care System. For those of us who live in Canada, particularly in Ontario, we have seen an influx of immigrants and visible minorities through many work forces but nursing seems particularly for Jamaicans has seen to be more prevalent. Our study not only looks into the past but it also looks in the future and hopefully provides a hindsight of how Jamaicans and other visible minorities can make s positive change and influence to the health care system.

Thanks to Prof Samuels-Dennis and Mel for all the hard and great work particularly between juggling clinical (and my three jobs) at once. Also thanks to all those who help make this study possible. The book is currently available for purchasing. I am so excited about this !! 🙂 ( Now a second book published for me.)

You can view the book here.  It is also available on amazon to order.
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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