The growing value and recognition of Licenced Practical Nurses is the result of hard work – by our collaborative, competent and professional LPNs, and by the determined efforts of the CLPNA to build on their successes and ours. As our membership grows, so does the influence and the empowered professionalism of LPNs – protecting and serving the public through excellence in practical nursing.


As the regulatory organization for the province’s over 12,000 licensed practical nurses, the CLPNA works for Albertans, as do LPNs. There are 9.5% more LPNs registered in Alberta since 2013, bringing the total to 12,881.

The CLPNA once again showed a reduction in the average LPN age from 39.1 to 38.7 in 2014. In 2013, the Canadian Institute of Health Information reported that LPNs under the age of 40 accounted for 45% of the national LPN workforce and in 2014 CLPNA data reveals that 61% of LPNs are under the age of 40, which affirms our status of having one of the youngest nursing workforces in Canada.1

LPN employment statistics have changed significantly from the previous year. Those reporting full-time employment status increased by 8.7%; part-time increased by 14.6% and casual increased by 33.8%. This is a very large increase in casual and part-time employment and much of the increase is LPNs who graduated in the last five years, revealing that there is room for increases in full-time employment.

The CLPNA registered 224 international nurses in 2014, an increase of 35%, adding just under 400 international nurses to Alberta in 2013 and 2014.

For the first time in more than a decade, CLPNA saw a slight decline in labour mobility, with 614 new out-of-province LPNs registering in 2014 and 639 in 2013. Out-of-province registrants are the second largest area of new membership growth, second only to Alberta new graduates, who numbered 1017 in 2014.

There were no Registration Reviews held during 2014.

National Nursing Assessment Service launched

Internationally educated nurse applicants now have a single, simple first step towards becoming a nurse in Canada (except in Quebec and the Territories). Effective August 11, 2014, the CLPNA stopped accepting initial applications from internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicants. As of August 12th, all IEN applicants must now apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) to become assessed for any of the three categories of professional nursing in Canada – licensed practical nurse, registered nurse (RN) and registered psychiatric nurse (RPN).

1 Canadian Institute of Health Information. (2014). Spending and health workforce. Retrieved from https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/Nursing-Workforce-2013_EN.pdf.

NNAS is the mandatory first step for any IEN applicant who:

  • is a graduate of a nursing education program outside of Canada; and
  • is not currently registered to practice as a nurse anywhere within Canada as an RN, LPN or RPN.

NNAS will function as the start of an applicant’s journey to registration by accepting the applicant’s initial application and assessing their documents (e.g., education transcripts or identity documents). NNAS will then create an advisory report that the CLPNA will use along with other information to determine whether the applicant can proceed to the next steps in the registration process – steps the CLPNA will continue to administer.

Each regulatory body involved with NNAS continue to make the final decision on whether to accept or refuse an applicant’s request for registration.

NNAS is a joint project of all 22 practical nurse, registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse regulatory bodies in Canada, with the exception of Quebec and the Territories.

Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination

As trusted professionals, LPNs must meet an acceptable level of competence to practice. This level of competence is measured, in part, by the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination, administered by all provincial and territorial LPN regulatory authorities except Quebec.

The CPNRE is the final step in the registration process and is administered three times a year in January, May and September. Candidates have a maximum of three attempts at successfully completing the exam.

Assessment Strategies Incorporated (ASI) is contracted by LPN regulatory authorities to develop and manage the CPNRE. LPNs, educators, and employers participate in the exam development process. CLPNA is an active participant in the development of the CPNRE with representation on the Client Advisory Group, Examination Committee, Blueprint Committee and Competency Review Committee.

Alberta CPNRE Candidates 2014*

Number of Candidates 1st Exam Repeat Exam IENs IENs Repeat Exam Total Candidates
Registered 1067 176 206 19 1468
Writing 1061 173 198 18 1450
Not Writing 6 3 8 1 18
Passing 943 104 188 14 1249
Failing 118 69 10 4 351
% Passing 89% 60% 95% 78% 86%

* Statistics prepared by Assessment Strategies Incorporated (ASI).

LPNs enhance competencies and evolve to meet the changing needs of the population.