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Exams

All applicants for NP registration are required to complete a written examination​ and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).​

W​ritten exams

​BCCNM recognizes a number of nurse practitioner written exams for family, adult and pediatric streams of practice.​ Please contact Registration Services at register@bccnm.ca​ or 604.742.6200 (1.866.880.7101 (toll-free in Canada only) for information on how to apply. 

Adult
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC) examination in adult, 2005 to January 31, 2014
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC) examination in adult-gerontology primary care, 2013 to present
  • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) examination in adult gerontology primary care, 2013 to present
  • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) examination in adult, 2005 to present
Family
  • The Canadian Nurse Practitioner Examination (CNPE) in family, 2005 to present
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  • ​The American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC) examination in family, 2005 to present
  • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in family, 2005 to present
Pediatric
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC) examination in pediatrics, 2005 to January 31, 2014
  • The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) nurse practitioner certification exam, 2005 to present

Objective S​tructured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The purpose of the OSCE is to assess the capacity of the applicant to provide health care services to the patient from a holistic nursing perspective. Detailed information about what to expect is available in the OSCE Candidate Guidebook​. ​​

Exam overview
The OSCE is a structured performance test that uses 15-16 client interactive examination stations depicting various clinical scenarios. These scenarios use standardized patients (played by actors) to provide real-life interactions with the examination candidate.

Some client interactive scenarios are complemented by written questions. These are called post encounter probe (PEP) questions. PEP questions relate directly to the preceding client interactive encounter and address diagnosing and/or managing the specific client concern or complaint.

The OSCE takes approximately five hours, which includes time for registration and breaks.

Watch this video for more information

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Detailed exam information
OSCE resources

*Examples of diseases, disorders and conditions commonly managed by an entry-level NP are now an appendix in Applying the Competencies.​​​

 OSCE frequently asked questions

What do I need to get on the OSCE to achieve a pass?

You must meet all of the following criteria to pass the exam:

 

  1. You must pass the required minimum number of stations. The overall station score is comprised of interactive stations (including the checklist and global assessment score from the couplet and 10 minute stations) and written stations (the Post Encounter Probe portion of the couplet stations). The number of stations required to pass depends on the total number of stations on the exam. This criterion ensures that you have not demonstrated any frequent or systematic gaps in your knowledge, skills and abilities. 
  2. You must achieve or exceed the minimum competency score. Each item on a checklist and each question on a written station is linked to a Nurse Practitioner competency, reflecting the range of knowledge, skills and abilities of Nurse Practitioners. This criterion ensures that your overall knowledge, skills and abilities meet the entry to practice standard. Your overall competency score is the sum of the competency scores across all the stations. This is reported on a standard score scale, and you must obtain a score of 350 to pass.​
  3. You must have no safety flags that are determined by the BCCNM Nurse Practitioner Examination Committee (NPEC) to be of a serious enough nature to constitute a critical incident and warrant failure on the examination  A Critical Incident is a situation in which the candidate fails to identify, perform or act upon a specific aspect of a given scenario from which the client would be expected to be seriously harmed; and/or any other safety or professional violation, noted by the examiner during the scenario, which would be expected to have a serious negative consequence for the client.  This criterion provides evidence that you have demonstrated safe and professional practice at the entry to practice level.​
Do we have to memorize the name of drugs and/or the dosages and frequencies for drug prescriptions?

No, you do not have to memorize drug names, dosages and frequencies. You may be given a resource to use, in which case you would be expected to write the prescription in full as you would for a real patient, including drug name, dosage and frequency. If you are not provided with a resource, you do not need to write the specific drug name, dosage and frequency;  it is sufficient to indicate the drug classification and appropriate reference guide you would refer to obtain the correct dosage and frequency. In this case, you must be more specific than stating an antibiotic or an analgesic.  ​

Are we expected to treat clients who are out of our scope?
No, you are not expected to treat clients outside of your scope but you are expected to recognize if a situation is outside of your scope and respond accordingly.
Are we expected to have memorized specific assessment tests?
No, you are not expected to memorize specific assessment tests but you do need to know what type of assessment you would carry out in a scenario or you may name a specific assessment test that you would use.
Given the on-going nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, is there a plan to move the OSCE to a virtual platform?

This is not something that BCCNM is considering for the near future, as there is not currently enough data on validity and reliability of these virtual assessments. As the pandemic situation in B.C. continues to improve, BCCNM's focus is administering the OSCE in-person following the safety protocols and guidelines​ that were put in place in 2020. The safety plan will continue to evolve as the Public Health Orders and Worksafe BC guidelines are updated.