Home > Certification > Initial Certification > Initial Exam Eligibility Criteria

Initial Exam Eligibility Criteria

If you’re applying for certification for the first time, you have to write the exam and meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a registered nurse with current registration or licence in Canada.
  • You need to meet the experience and/or education requirements (see below).
  • Your supervisor and/or consultant in your nursing practice specialty must be able to confirm your specialty experience and endorse your application.
  • You must pay exam fees at application time.

Experience requirements

For all nursing practice specialties (except enterostomal therapy)

There are two options through which you can qualify to write the certification exam — option A or option B.

    Option A — experience only:
    • A minimum of 3,900 hours’ experience as a registered nurse in your specialty over the past five years in full-time, part-time or casual employment. Your experience may be in any of the five nursing domains:
      • direct patient care
      • education
      • research
      • policy
      • administration
    Option B — experience plus specialty education:
    • A minimum of 2,925 hours’ experience as a registered nurse in your specialty over the past five years in full-time, part-time or casual employment in any of the five nursing domains:
      • direct patient care
      • education
      • research
      • policy
      • administration
    • A formal post-basic course in your specialty at least 300 hours in length and taken over the last 10 years. A formal post-basic course is a specialty diploma or certificate program completed at a community college or university.

For enterostomal therapy certification

  • A minimum of 1,500 hours experience as a registered nurse in clinical nursing practice related to wound, ostomy and continence care over the past five years in full-time, part-time or casual employment. Applicants who completed the Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) Enterostomal Therapy Nursing Education Program (ETNEP) after 2009 may include 225 hours of clinical preceptorship as part of the 1,500 hours of clinical experience required.
  • Successful completion of the CAET ETNEP OR successful completion of a full scope enterostomal therapy nursing education program (that includes the three practice domains of wound, ostomy and continence) recognized by CAET. Proof of completion is required*.

*Please contact CAET for proof of completion and information on recognized enterostomal courses. You can e-mail office@caet.ca, visit www.caet.ca or call 1-888-739-5072.