Monday, December 19, 2011

Further information on new CRNE exam in Canada

The College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) has released some further information on the development of a new nursing exam.

CRNBC is stating that the new exam will be able to accurately assess Canadian RNs through:

  • Studying nursing practice to ensure the exam assesses entry-level practice competencies
  • Including Canadian nurses in exam preparation
  • Include Canadian nurses for sensitivity and translation reviews of the examination
  • Ensure regulatory bodies are collaborating on the administration of the exam
  • Ensuring nursing educators and students have time to learn about the new examination

From the way CRNBC is presenting these future changes, it seems as though the exam will not be the NCLEX, rather a Canadian version of the exam, developed through the same organization that develops the NCLEX.  However, the differences between the new exam and the existing NCLEX are not yet clear.

The introduction of the new exam will be January of 2015.  Therefore Canadian students have 9 further examinations using the current CRNE.

Here are a list of the provinces that have stated they will be implementing this new examination.  This list appears to indicate the implementation of the exam will affect almost all of Canada.

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories and Nunavut
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
There is no mention of the nurses in the Yukon, or Quebec (although Quebec has traditionally written a french language examination).

Here is a link to CRNBC's website so you can read more:

We will continue to update you as we learn more details.

PRIMED Educational Associates.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Canadian Nurses to be licensed using NCLEX! -Update

As many people have now heard, last week it was announced that as early as 2014 or 2015 the CRNE will be replaced with the NCLEX. 
You can read about this here:

In other words, starting in a few years, in order to become a nurse in Canada you will need to write the American nursing examination! 

While the reasons for this change are unknown, this has ignited a hot debate within the Canadian nursing community.  The Canadian Nursing Association feels this change will pull Canadian educated nurses to the United States, making it easier for nurses to travel and obtain work south of the border. 

Certainly it seems there is a risk of this, which is particularly contentious in current climate of a Registered Nursing shortage. 

While we haven’t been able to find a statement from the licensing organizations yet (such as nursing colleges or provincial associations), there are likely various reasons they have decided to move to the NCLEX.

While it may seem the switch to the NCLEX is an easy option, the NCLEX is a very different exam from the CRNE. 

Interestingly at PRIMED we find that many Canadian educated nurses struggle more with the NCLEX and many internationally educated nurse struggle more with the CRNE. 

Here is a breakdown on some of the differences between the CRNE and the NCLEX.



Anytime- Students book through the testing centre

Via computer- Students write the exam on computer

3 times/ year: the CRNE is administered winter, fall and spring yearly

Via paper/ pencil: papers are marked

Number of Questions

Exam ends when students reach passing or failing mark.  May end after 60-80 questions.

Questions can have multiple correct answers and students may be instructed to “choose all that apply”

200-220 questions.  200 questions, all are marked.  Students also have 20 test questions on top of the 200.  Mark is based on 200 questions.

Each question has 1 correct answer.

Cognitive Domains

Uses Bloom’s taxonomy for cognitive domain-
Describes the majority of the examination as being  “higher level of cognitive ability”.

Unclear if exam also covers affective domain.

Outlines 3 taxonomy levels:
Cognitive Domain
1.     Knowledge comprehension
2.     Critical Thinking
Affective Domain
1.     Attitudes and Judgments

Content of exam

NCLEX is organized into “Client Need” categories:
1.     Safe & Effective Care Environment
2.     Health Promotion and Maintenance
3.     Psychosocial Integrity
4.     Physiological Integrity

CRNE is organized into 4 Competencies:
1.     Professional Practice
2.     Nurse-Client Partnership
3.     Health & Wellness
4.     Changes in Health

Here is an example, taken from the NCLEX development website of an NCLEX sample question.  This question can easily illustrate some of the differences between the Canadian and American exams.

“The nurse is caring for a client in a long term care facility.  The client’s spouse asks the nurse a question regarding the client’s treatment plan.  Which of the following responses would be most appropriate for the nurse to make?

a.     I cannot give you information on any client.
b.     Can you verify the clients date of birth?
c.      Let me ask the primary health care provider to speak with you
d.     You should speak directly to the client about the treatment plan.

The NCLEX states that the correct answer is:
a.     I cannot give you information on any client

Many Canadian educated nurses might struggle with this question.
While we are taught that we cannot provide confidential client information to other people, we are also taught from a model of family centered care in which we try to share “complete and unbiased information whenever possible”.  In the CRNE this question would likely be worded differently, with an option for the nurse to extend a more family centered care perspective to the patients spouse.  The nurse who has prepared for the CRNE might expect to see something like:

“I’m unable to give you confidential information on your partner, but let me speak with your spouse so I can determine what he/she would like me to share with you”

Another difference is that much of the content covered in the NCLEX guides can fit within one of the Canadian competencies- the “Changes in Health” competency.  This is seen through an increased number of questions that are more clinically or process focused.  The NCLEX seems to offer fewer questions on communication and aspects of nurse-client partnership as outlined by the Canadian competencies.

The change from the Canadian RN exam to the NCLEX leaves many nurses, educators and students with outstanding questions. 

1.     How will Canadian content be included or accounted for in the exam
2.     Will curriculums need to be altered to ensure students achieve success on the licensing exam?
3.     What will the cost of the new exam be to students?
4.     Will this exam draw more Canadian nurses to the USA as the CNA fears
5.     How will this change be implemented
6.     How do we ensure Canadian nurses continue to meet the standards of practice for Canada when we are not examining on these standards?

PRIMED Educational Associates will continue to offer CRNE preparation and continue to monitor this situation as it develops.  We will update our students on the conversation as it unfolds.

In the meantime, we wish everyone continued success with their education and for those students writing the CRNE this winter 2012- time to get studying!

Happy Holidays,
PRIMED Education

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vancouver CRNE Prep Help Available!

Spaces are now open for the Vancouver PRIMED CRNE review course. The weekend workshop is taking place January 14-15 at the downtown Vancouver SFU campus-Harbourfront centre.
If you are graduating student or an international student and would like some help in preparing for the February 1, 2012 CRNE then sign up for PRIMED's intensive two day prep course. For two full days PRIMED facilitators will lead through different areas of nursing to review fundamental content essential in critical thinking which is an area the CRNE examines you on. In addition, you will practice over 200 mock CRNE questions over the two days and be sent home with a 55 question exam with answers and rationales.
If you live outside Vancouver, you will be pleased to hear PRIMED is also offering courses in Lethbridge, Toronto and Calgary in January.
For more information or to sign up online please visit

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CRNE private online tutoring

PRIMED is now offering private online tutoring for students that are too far away to join one of our group sessions.Let our experienced Master's educated nurses privately tutor you to success on the CRNE. As part of the private sessions you will receive over 16 hours of one on one instruction with a PRIMED facilitator and a 160 page review manual, that includes over 200 mock CRNE questions. In addition, you will be provided with an access code to PRIMED's 200 question mock CRNE exam.

Topics included during the private tutorials include:

Test taking strategies
Community Health
Mental Health
Clinical Skills
Infectious diseases

The registration fee for private online tutorials is $950+HST

If you are interested in arranging private online tutoring please contact Marlene Burrows and Laura Housden at or 604 839 7520 (Vancouver) or 902 449 4603 (Halifax)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Success on the October 2012 CRNE

PRIMED is happy to report we are getting several emails a day from students all saying the PASSED the CRNE!

Congratulations to all of you, your hard work and commitment has paid off. All the best in your future careers as nurses.

Read below to see what students are saying:

I just wanted to let you all know that I was successful in the CRNE and passed!!!  I am sooo happy and excited at the moment and have shared the great news with my family and friends. 
I took the CRNE prep course in Vancouver and I want to thank you all for putting together an amazing review session with the printed material.  I feel that I was able to pass the CRNE because of the help and support I received from all of you.  I would definitely recommend the two day prep course to anyone writing the CRNE, it was well worth my money and time.
Once again, thank you very much!!!
I received my letter in the mail this morning!!!! It's a PASS!!!!!
I am glad that I was a part of your group :) Thank you for all your tips and information!
Toronto results are out, I passed!
Thanks for your wonderful help and encouragement.

I got the result today and passed, Thank you so much PRIMED!!
 PRIMED is offering workshop in January 2012 in preparation for the February 2012 CRNE. To register please visit

Thursday, November 3, 2011

CRNE Prep Lethbridge AB

PRIMED is pleased to announce that due overwhelming demand (especially students at the University of Lethbridge) we will be travelling to Lethbridge, AB in January 2012.

The workshop is scheduled to take place January 7-8, 2012 at the University of Lethbridge-Anderson Hall 117. It will be a busy two days as two Master's prepared facilitators lead you through review of core nursing concepts and teach you strategies to approaching multiple choice questions that you will encounter on the CRNE. Plus, you will have the opportunity to practice over 200 unique mock CRNE questions that you won't find anywhere else.

PRIMED is also offering workshop in January 2012 in the following cities:
Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto

To secure your seat in the course sign up online at before December 31, 2011 to save $50 off your registration fee.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tips for Nursing Documentation

PRIMED not only wants you to be successful on the CRNE, but be successful in your nursing practice.
Here are some tips regarding documentation to keep in mind for the exam and for real life practice:

  1. Chart as soon as possible, especially vital signs. When the health care team rounds in the morning they need to know the most recent vital signs. Charting the at 10 am is not as useful
  2. Be as descriptive as possible. When describing an assessment finding don't hesitate to use non-conventional words if nothing else seems appropriate
  3. When charting about complex wounds it is very helpful to have a picture or tracing of the wound to monitor progression
  4. Remember to never use an eraser or liquid eraser on charts. Instead put a single line through the words and initial them
  5. Sign off on your medications after you administered them, so there is no confusion about what the patient did and did not receive
  6. Remember to use objective non-biased language

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New workshop dates announced for January 2012

PRIMED is pleased to announce registration is now open for January 2012 workshops to help students prepare for the February 2012 Canadian Registered Nurses Exam (CRNE)!

PRIMED will hold 4 locations for the upcoming review sessions:

January 7-8, 2012: Lethbridge Alberta
January 14-15, 2012: Vancouver, BC
January 14-15, 2012: Toronto, ON
January 21-22, 2012: Calgary,. AB

To receive the early registration rate and guarantee yourself a seat in the course sign up today at:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

CRNE Workshop Succes!

PRIMED is happy to report the fall workshops to prepare students for the October 5 CRNE were a success. PRIMED ran five courses in the following cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. PRIMED facilitators enjoyed meeting students from across the country both new graduates and IENs.

Good luck to everyone writing next week!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Edmonton CRNE PREP Course

If you are a graduating U of A or Grant MacEwan nursing student, congratulations!!
Are you writing your CRNE next month and would like some assistance in preparing for the exam?
Then sign up for PRIMED's two day CRNE prep workshop September 24-25, 2011. It's being held at U of A from 9-5.

This weekend's session will consist of three experienced nurse educators and clinicians leading you through a review of different nursing areas as well as giving you the opportunity to practice over 100 questions. In addition, the 200 page workbook you receive has a 55 question mini mock CRNE with answers and rationales for you to TAKE HOME!

PRIMED will prepare you to be more successful on the exam.
Don't miss out sign up today at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last minute spots available for Toronto CRNE Prep

Don't miss out on this weekends CRNE prep course in Toronto! There are still seats available for the September 17-18, 2011 review workshop taking place at Women's College.

Let two experienced nurse educators guide you through the essentials of testing taking and nursing content to get you ready for the exam!

Sign up today at

Monday, September 5, 2011

Last minute spots for Vancouver CRNE prep still available!

If you are looking for a course that will help you prepare for the October CRNE, there are still spaces available in the Vancouver course. The course is taking place at SFU-Downtown Harbourfront Campus September 10-11, 2011.

Let two experienced Master's prepared nurses guide you through the essentials to help you be successful on the exam.

Register today at

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Feedback on PRIMED CRNE Prep Course

If you're looking for a CRNE prep course, look no further than PRIMED. We offer a 2 day prep course that is designed to get you ready for the exam-CRNE Boot camp!
This is feedback that we received from our Spring 2011 registrants in various locations (Vancouver, Calgary, Kingston, Toronto, Halifax):

I found the review course extremely helpful!! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is about to write the CRNE!

I thought it was very well executed. The presenters were knowledgeable and friendly, spoke clearly and presented topics in an easily understandable manner. The breakdown of the course helped to focus studying on important topics. Many important tips were provided for writing the CRNE. Other courses I looked at didn't seem to have a breakdown like this course, more focused on test taking tips and strategies, this is what led to my decision to pursue this course.
It was very thorough and the instructors made it easy to understand. Great review and I feel much more prepared.
It was great I thought! The price seemed high at first, however all the prep courses in Toronto are the same price so still a deal. I thought it really helped give me confidence regarding the fact that they emphasized things such as "you are an entry level nurse" and that we don't need to know every disease and how to diagnose it etc. which I previously thought before the course from reading Mosby prep guide. It really brought the important topics out to study before the exam.
I found the PRIMED CRNE Review course very helpful. The instructors answered all my questions, and they made each section very easy to understand. I now feel more confident in preparing for this exam.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the PRIMED CRNE Review Course. Before attending, I had anticipated I would leave the course feeling more frustrated with the CRNE, feeling "like I don't know anything!" However, after leaving it was the opposite. I felt much more confident in my knowledge base!
I found it really helpful. I felt that it gave me a sense of direction in terms of what I should focus on as before I felt confused and thought that there was nothing really to guide students. Now I also know which sections are my strengths and the areas in which I need to spend more time studying. The practice questions at the end of each section were great and very helpful.
Spaces are limited so sign up today at

Friday, August 26, 2011

Early registration deadline ends August 31!

If you're thinking about attending PRIMED's 2 day CRNE prep course, make sure you sign up and pay by August 31. After September 1, 2011 the registration fee will increase by $50+ tax.

Let PRIMED's experienced facilitators guide you through the essentials of what you need to do to be successful on the CRNE exam. The workshop will start off with a short session on Test Taking Strategies to help you better approach questions. Then you will move into the various systems review such as Community Health, Pediatrics, Maternity, Cardiac, Respiratory, Pharmacology etc. In total you will review 15 different different body systems, which are each followed by 10-15 mock CRNE questions. You will have a chance to answer these questions independently before reviewing and discussing the answers with the group.

The review session will be intense, and each registrant will receive a 200+ page booklet and a mini mock CRNE exam to take home, with answers and rationales.

Don't miss out, sign up today at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Practice mock CRNE question

Below is an example of a question styled to look what you might see on the CRNE:

The nurse is working with a 52 year old patient Samuel, who has recently received a tracheostomy after a motor vehicle accident resulted in severe head injury and respiratory failure. His wife is very concerned about his comfort during suctioning and asks the nurse how they will ensure that the patient has adequate oxygenation during the procedure. What is the best response?

1. “I will provide your husband with oxygen before I suction him, and monitor his oxygen saturation during the procedure which won’t last longer than 10 seconds”

2. “I will only suction your husband for 15-20 seconds which is the normal suctioning length of time”

3. “I will monitor your husband’s oxygen level after the procedure and apply oxygen if he is hypoxic”

4. “I will hold my breath during the procedure and stop when I feel discomfort, the procedure won’t last longer than 15 seconds”

Answer: 1

Rationale: It is recommended that patients receive oxygen prior to tracheal suctioning. Additionally, O2 saturation should be monitored closely during the procedure which should last no longer than 10 seconds.

For more practice questions try PRIMED's 200 question online mock CRNE exam or sign up for an upcoming 2 day workshop at

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spots filling up!

Spots for the upcoming PRIMED CRNE review sessions are filling up quickly, especially for Toronto and Vancouver.  Sign up today to ensure you seat in the course that will help prepare you be more confident and less anxious during your big day.

Course locations and dates:
September 10-11th: Vancouver-St. Paul's Hospital

September 10-11th: Halifax-Dalhousie University

September 17-18th: Toronto-Toronto General Hospital

September 17-18th: Calgary-University of Calgary

September 24-25th: Edmonton-Location: TBA

Visit our website at

Thursday, July 7, 2011

October CRNE

Many of you are probably starting to think about getting started in your studying for the October 2011 CRNE. If you are, that's great! PRIMED Ed. has some tips for you to get started:

  1. Prepare a study schedule-Many of you are probably trying to balance work, family and studying and planning out a schedule will help you set realistic goals as well as reduce anxiety.
  2. Start to plan dates with study group or or partner-Choose a topic that you've both reviewed ahead of time prior to meeting that you will REVIEW when you get together
  3. Use the CNA's prep guide-The CNA writes the exam and therefore this guide should be your primary resource to study from
  4. Identify your areas that need improvement-It's more tempting to study the stuff your good at, because it's a lot less work than studying the stuff you don't know very well. But, leave the stuff you're more comfortable about closer to the end of your studying

Hope this tips help!
To register for September PRIMED CRNE prep workshops please visit

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Registration for Fall 2011 courses now open!

PRIMED Education's fall 2011 courses are now open for registration.
Spaces fill up quickly so register today to secure your spot.

Our courses and locations are:

September 10-11th: Vancouver
September 10-11th: Halifax
September 17-18th: Toronto
September 17-18th: Calgary
September 24-25th: Edmonton

You can register at or by clicking on a links located on this blog.

We hope to see you there!
PRIMED Education

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Good luck next week on the CRNE!

From all of us at PRIMED we'd like to extend good luck to all of our students writing their exam on June 1, 2011. No doubt this weekend will be a busy one for you, doing last minute revising and practice.
Remember how important ABC's and the nursing process.
Another reminder to look through the CNA's LeaRN guide and review the competencies the exam will be based on.
For those of you wanting a mock CRNE exam, you may purchase and write a 200 question exam at
You have two attempts at the exam and it will be marked and feedback will be sent to you immediately after it's submitted.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mock CRNE Exam

Visit to practice a 200 question mock CRNE exam.
For only $55 you get two attempts at the exam. After you submit it, you will immediately receive a score and the rationales to all the questions.
Try it out today!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Space still available in the Vancouver CRNE course!

There are still spots available in this weekends (April 9-10, 2011) CRNE prep workshop. The course is taking place at St. Paul's Hospital Conference Centre in downtown Vancouver.

This two day workshop will be an intense review to help you prepare for the June 2011 CRNE. You will review nursing content as well as practice questions. The course includes a booklet that is 200 pages long with a mini mock CRNE take home exam with answer and rationales.

Sign up today at

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Calgary CRNE review workshop sold out

PRIMED has now closed it's registration for the Calgary CRNE prep course taking place April 19-20, 2011as it is SOLD OUT,  however there is still lots of room in our other sites, including Edmonton.

If you would like an intensive 2 day review workshop that will help you succeed on the CRNE then register online at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Venues announced

PRIMED is please to announce that the venues for the upcoming dates for the CRNE prep workshops have been determined.

Vancouver (April 9-10)-St. Paul's Hospital
Edmonton (April 16-17)-University of Alberta
Calgary (April 19-20)-University of Calgary
Toronto (April 30-May 1)-Toronto General Hospital
Halifax (May 7-8)-Dalhousie University
Kingston (May 14-15) venue TBA

To register for this two day workshop, please visit

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A bit about PRIMED

PRIMED Ed. was developed by Marlene Burrows & Laura Housden. Their goal was to develop a concise two day prep course for students preparing for the CRNE. In essence a "CRNE bootcamp". This was in response to the lack of study tools/aids and prep courses available and the desperate need demonstrated by students.

With regards the CRNE most students have one of these two concerns or both:
1. They need practice with answering CRNE style questions (often psychosocial questions)
2. They need review on core nursing concepts

The PRIMED CRNE review course does both of things. We not only practice questions but we review content too! The two day workshop is structured according to nursing topics and each one is followed by CRNE style questions. This allow students to better determine where there areas of strengths and weaknesses are to focus and utilize their study time better.
The 2011 June CRNE has prompted PRIMED to hold CRNE review courses in many cities across Canada including:
Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Kingston and Halifax.
If you would like more information please visit

Here you can view the 2 day course outline (About page) and sign up online.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kingston date added!

PRIMED is pleased to announce they have added another Ontario stop to their spring 2011 CRNE review workshops!

PRIMED will be holding a two day CRNE prep workshop in Kingston, ON
May 14-15, 2011

This is the workshop for you whether you are a new grad or an internationally educated nurse preparing the write the June 2011 CRNE.

To register online please click on the link in the left hand corner of the page.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

PRIMED CRNE Prep Workshops-Spring 2011

PRIMED is pleased to announce registration has opened for the CRNE review workshops taking place in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Halfax! We will get you PRIMED for the June 2011 CRNE.

Vancouver, BC April 9-10, 2011
Edmonton, AB April 16-17, 2011
Calgary, AB April 19-20, 2011
Toronto, ON April 30-May 1, 2011
Halifax, NS May 7-8, 2011

Past participants have described our workshops as being like "CRNE bootcamp".
For more information and to sign up online visit

Friday, January 28, 2011

CRNE Practice Questions

If you are looking to practice CRNE style questions in preparation for the big exam, the try the PRIMED mock CRNE Exam!
It consists of 200 online practice questions that mimic the real things. For only $55 you get two attempts at the exam.

Visit Quizzes page to practice online!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Wrapup

PRIMED has just finished a busy January running three CRNE review courses in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Students came from close and far to join PRIMED facilitators in the intensive 2 day review course to help prepare them for the February 3, 2011 CRNE.

We enjoyed meeting the various students from across the country including new grads and internationally educated nurses. Good luck to each of them on their exam.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calgary CRNE review workshop!

It's not too late to register for the CRNE prep review course taking place this weekend-January22-23 at the University of Calgary.

Experience two full days of facilitating by masters prepared nurses who have helped hundreds of students suceed on the CRNE. You will have the opportunity to review core nursing concepts plus practice over 200 mock CRNE questions.

For more information or to sign up online please visit

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CRNE Prep Course in Vancouver

There are still spots available in this weekends (January 15-16, 2011) CRNE prep workshop. It is being held at St. Paul's Hospital Conference Centre in Vancouver. If you want a chance to review core nursing knowledge regarding the different nursing areas and practice writing CRNE style questions, then this is the course for you!
If you are interested sign up online at or contact us by email or by phone 604 839 7520 or 902 449 4603.

On another note, last weekends course in Toronto January 8-9, 2011) was a huge success and participants raved about the information and test taking strategies they received. Toronto's session was sold out and despite all the snow on Friday night we started bright and early Saturday by starting with the Test Taking Skills Section, before delving into the other sections such as community and population health, ethics, geriatrics, cardiac, etc.
All participants scored their readiness level to write the CRNE at a higher level after the course, and they know that they can contact us at anytime for ongoing study support up until the date of the CRNE on February 2, 2011.
Good luck to all of them!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2 Spots left for Toronto CRNE Prep!

There are 2 spots in this weekends (January 8-9, 2011) CRNE review prep course. If you want to grab one of the last couple of spots sign up now at
This weekends session looks to be fantastic. So if you are looking for a nursing concept review plus help in ways to better tackle CRNE questions don't miss the review class running this weekend at Ryerson.
If you have any questions please call or email us at:
604 839 7520-Laura
902 449 4603-Marlene