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Provisional Permits While Waiting to Take the Nursing Exam

Nov. 9, 2022

Individuals who recently graduated from a nursing program and first-time nurses in Canada must pass a final nursing exam, the NCLEX-RN, to be able to practise. Depending on when they graduate or complete the application process there can be a gap of several months between graduation and the next sitting of the exam.

As part of the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta's (CRNA) ongoing commitment to reducing barriers to the profession, the CRNA is continuing to allow both groups to request a provisional permit that allows nurses to practise with supervision during this period. 

Provisional permits allow individuals to practise under the title of graduate nurse (GN) for up to six months following graduation or application completion before they pass the NCLEX-RN. GNs with a provisional permit work under the Supervision Standards to ensure patient safety—they receive enhanced supervision and are not allowed to perform certain activities. 

GNs are otherwise expected to meet all the same requirements as a registered nurse (RN) and are held to the same standards. 

Provisional permits benefit health care in Alberta by allowing fully trained nurses to start working sooner and gain valuable on-the-job experience.