Quebec’s nurses order rejects call to delay exam despite concern over failure rate

Click to play video: 'Why did more than half of Quebec nursing students fail licensing exam?'
Why did more than half of Quebec nursing students fail licensing exam?
WATCH: An investigation has been launched into why more than half of those who took a recent Quebec nursing license exam, failed it. Some nursing students say the exam didn't reflect what they had been studying in school. The order of nurses' admissions commissioner will look into the matter, after receiving 27 complaints last week. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports – Nov 15, 2022

Quebec’s order of nurses is rejecting a recommendation to push back the date of its next licensing exam amid an ongoing investigation into why more than half of candidates failed the last sitting.

The order said Wednesday that the next exam will go ahead on March 27 as scheduled, but nursing students will be given the option to wait until the next date in September if they prefer.

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The commissioner who oversees access to the province’s professional orders said last week that it was still too early to explain last fall’s abnormally high failure rate.

Andre Gariépy recommended the next date to write the exam be pushed back while he continues his probe into what happened.

While the order declined to change the date, it agreed to Gariépy’s suggestion of allowing students who had failed for a third — and normally final — time to retake the test.

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Gariépy’s interim report 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 said nursing students have largely blamed what they see as flaws in the exam, while the order of nurses has suggested student preparation could have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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