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Ontario nursing students get unlimited tries for licencing exam

Applicants who want to become a nurse in Ontario no longer have to worry about passing the provincial licensing exam in three tries.

The NCLEX-RN exam – which is required to become a Registered Nurse in Ontario, will no longer have a limit as to how many times it can be written.

Nursing students in Ontario had concerns about the exam, administered by an American organization, because not all of the content was Canadian-based.

Failure rates were much higher with the U.S.-based exam than was found with a previous Canadian test.

The Ontario College of Nurses said passing the exam is one of a set of requirements to become licensed in the province.

In an e-mail to CBC News, the college said it would still limit other exams to three attempts, as those exams have questions that are administered to all applicants. Therefore, the concern is that a prospective nurse could memorize the exam.

Nova Scotia already made similar changes for its nursing students in June.

The changes in Ontario will take effect January 9, 2017.