Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam

As part of the process to become licensed as an LPN in Nova Scotia, you must successfully pass the CPNRE. The CPNRE is a computer-based test offered through secure Online Proctoring. It has been developed in collaboration with Yardstick Assessment Strategies Inc.

Important Information about Admission to the Exam

You will be required to present your photo identification prior to being admitted to the exam. Please ensure that the spelling of your name on your photo identification perfectly matches the name you gave when applying to NSCN for the exam. If there is a discrepancy between the name on your NSCN CPNRE application and the photo identification you use on exam day, you will not be permitted to take the exam and your exam fee will be forfeit.

How to Apply

New Nova Scotia graduate applicants will apply to take the CPNRE through the online portal here. New Nova Scotia graduate applicants will be able to pay and select a writing window to write their exam on their initial application for registration and licensure with NSCN.

Please note: internationally educated nurses will not be able to select a preferred writing window and pay for their exam, until their initial application has been assessed and approved. You will be notified by NSCN when this is possible. Out of province new graduates will need to register for their registration exam through the regulatory body in the province they completed their education.

Questions and Answers

Test Window Opens Test Window Closes Deadline to submit CPNRE application and pay fees
May 1, 2024 May 30, 2024 May 1, 2024
July 1, 2024 July 31, 2024 July 1, 2024
September 1, 2024 September 30, 2024 September 1, 2024
November 1, 2024 November 30, 2024 November 1, 2024

Click here to learn more about the exam fee and payment options

The CPNRE is offered in Canada through secure Online Proctoring for Nova Scotia PN exam candidates. You will also receive instructions from the exam vendor Yardstick after they receive confirmation from NSCN that you are eligible to take the exam. 

Yardstick offers the only official study aids products to help you prepare for the exam. Click on the links for access to the CPNRE Prep Guide and the CPNRE Predictor Test.

If you believe the administration of the CPNRE discriminates against you on the grounds prohibited by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, you may request in writing that you be provided accommodation to eliminate or reduce the effects of the prohibited discrimination during the exam.

Please reach out to to obtain the documentation required to support an exam accommodation request. 

We strongly encourage you to apply for the CPNRE and pay the exam fees at the same time when you submit your accommodation documentation.

Below are the deadlines to submit a written request for test accommodations for the following exam testing date windows: 

Test Window Opens Test Window Closes Deadline to submit accommodation documentation
November 1, 2023 November 30, 2023 September 6, 2023
January 1, 2024 January 31, 2024 November 6, 2023
March 1, 2024 March 31, 2024 January 5, 2024
May 1, 2024 May 31, 2024 March 6, 2024
July 1, 2024 July 31, 2024 May 6, 2024
September 1, 2024 September 30, 2024 July 5, 2024

Examination results are provided to NSCN by the test administrator within four weeks of the end of each test window. For example, if you take the exam in the test window of February 1 to February 15, NSCN should receive your test results by March 15. 

Once the test results are received at NSCN, they are released to the exam candidate by email  within five (5) business days. 

If you are successful on the exam, you are sent an NSCN letter by email with instructions about applying for registration and licensure. 

If you are not successful on the exam, you are sent the following by email:

  1. Candidate Performance Report
  2. NSCN letter informing you of the next step(s)

Effective April 1, 2023, when a candidate asks to reschedule to a future exam administration (i.e. candidate is registered for July 2023 window but is requesting to write in the September 2023 window) there is a $57.50 fee. 

The $57.50 fee also applies to those candidates that are registered and do not appear for a scheduled exam.

This fee is administered by the exam provider, Yardstick, and will be collected by the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN) before the CPNRE can be rescheduled. Once the $57.50 cancellation fee has been paid, you will be added to the nominal role for your preferred CPNRE writing window. Please email the registration team at to request to be added to another CPNRE test window and to make arrangements for payment. 

Candidates can reschedule their exam without the $57.50 fee up to 24 hours prior to their exam date/time. Candidates are only able to reschedule within the exam window they are registered for (i.e if they are registered for the July 2023 administration, they are only able to reschedule for a new date within the July 2023 exam window) – there is no fee associated with this rescheduling.

If you have any questions, reach out to us at We will respond within 2 business days.

Please be advised that registration requirements and fees are subject to change. All registration and licensure fees are non-refundable. Click here to learn more about fees and payment options.