A preliminary investigation into why more than half of candidates failed Quebec’s nurse licensing exam last fall has found “concerning elements” surrounding both the exam and student preparation.
André Gariépy, the commissioner who oversees access to professional orders, is recommending that the next date to write the exam be pushed back while the probe continues.
The interim report released Wednesday found that just 45.4 per cent of nursing students passed the Sept. 26 licensing exam, compared to a pass rate of between 63 and 96 per cent in previous sittings.
Gariépy says nursing students have largely blamed a flawed exam, while the province’s order of nurses has suggested student preparation could have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioner says that while it’s too soon to say whether the exam or the training caused the high failure rate, it’s clear students have been harmed.
In addition to pushing back the next exam scheduled for March, he is recommending that candidates who were barred from the profession after failing for a third time in September should be allowed to try again.
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