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Steps to Becoming an NP in Saskatchewan

Get your Graduate Degree in Saskatchewan
Pass a Nurse Practitioner Exam in Saskatchewan
Apply for your RN (NP) License in Saskatchewan
Renewing your License in Saskatchewan

 

The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA) is the professional self-regulatory body for registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Job Statistics

  • 2011 average salary for general practitioners / family physicians in Saskatchewan: $149,296
  • 2010, number of licensed Nurse Practitioners in Saskatchewan: 122
  • 2010, 95% of NPs in Saskatchewan are primary care NPs
  • 2010 SRNA public survey indicated that 89% of residents believe there should be more Nurse Practitioners available
  • 2008 SRNA public survey found that 70% of residents felt care provided by NPs was equal to physician care

The title used by nurse practitioners in the province is Registered Nurse (Nurse Practitioner), or RN (NP). You may become registered to practice in four categories: RN (NP) Adult, RN (NP) Neonatal, RN (NP) Pediatric, or RN (NP) Primary Care.

You must be registered as an RN in Saskatchewan before you may attempt registration as an NP.

  • If you received your RN training in Saskatchewan, follow these instructions to apply to take the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE).
  • If you received your RN training outside of Saskatchewan but within Canada, follow these instructions to begin the process of registering as an RN in Saskatchewan.
  • If you received your RN training outside of Canada, you are considered an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN). Follow these instructions to begin the RN registration process in Saskatchewan.
  • If you previously registered in Saskatchewan as an RN but have not worked in the province for five years or more, complete a Consent Form to Obtain Employment Verification Information. This will begin the process of reinstating your Saskatchewan RN license.

Once you have registered as an RN in Saskatchewan, you must practice for 4500 hours before you can pursue RN (NP) registration in the province. Continue with this process to earn your RN (NP) credentials:


 

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

You must complete an RN (NP) education program recognized by and approved by the Council of the SRNA. Standards for approval for RN (NP) education programs in the province are listed here.

Qualified Graduate Programs

Depending upon the RN (NP) program you attend, you will graduate with a post-master’s diploma, master’s degree, or doctorate. Currently, only two RN (NP) programs in Saskatchewan have been Council-approved:

If the NP program you graduate from is not located within Saskatchewan, you may still be eligible for RN (NP) registration. The Council may require you to demonstrate that you have knowledge of the nurse practitioner competencies expected of RN (NP) s within the province.

If you graduate from an RN (NP) program outside of Saskatchewan, you are expected to have already registered as an NP in the jurisdiction in which you completed you NP education. This ensures that the regulatory agency in that jurisdiction has deemed you competent to practice as an NP in that jurisdiction, and makes the process of determining your equivalency easier for the SRNA. Therefore, when you apply for RN (NP) registration in Saskatchewan, you must obtain verification of your registration and/or licensure in your “home” jurisdiction.

Course Requirements

The SRNA Council has mandated that the following criteria be included in an approved RN (NP) education program:

  • Courses on the philosophy of nursing and education
  • Introduction of the RN (NP) standards of practice and competencies, including (but not limited to):
    • Professional responsibility
    • Assessment and diagnosis
    • Therapeutic management
    • Health promotion/illness and injury prevention
  • Courses that coincide with the RN (NP) clinical expectations, including (but not limited to):
    • Pathophysiology (including etiology)
    • Pathology of commonly encountered acute/chronic illnesses, as well as normal health events and emergencies
    • Epidemiology
    • Developmental, psychological, sociological and environmental health considerations
    • Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests
    • Pharmacology  and dispensing medications
    • Referral and consultation with other providers
    • Performing minor surgical and invasive procedures
  • A minimum of 700 clinical hours in a variety of clinical placement settings to expose the student to clients across the life span and/or within the category in which you intend to practice
  • Additionally, if you attend an RN (NP) program outside of Saskatchewan, you must be sure to take the following courses:

Prescriptive Authority

As an RN (NP) in Saskatchewan, you are authorized to prescribe Schedules I, II and III drugs listed in the Health Canada Non-Insured Health Benefits, as well as products with a Drug Identification Number that may be sold without a prescription. The pharmacology and dispensing coursework in your RN (NP) program should prepare you well for these responsibilities.


 

Step 2.  Pass a Nurse Practitioner Exam 

Once you have completed your RN (NP) education, you must pass the appropriate nurse practitioner exam before you may  register as an RN (NP) in Saskatchewan. Depending upon the NP education program you completed and your intended client stream, this may be:

  • Canadian Nurse Practitioner Exam (CNPE)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Exam of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner Exam of the ANCC
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Exam of the National Certification Corporation

You will apply to take these exams when you apply for licensure as an NP in Saskatchewan. However, we will cover the content and format of the exams in this section, and application for them in Step 3.

Canadian Nurse Practitioner Exam (CNPE)

  • Administered by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)
  • You may take the CNPE a maximum of three times without passing
  • Examination is given in May in October in Regina
  • You must apply in March for the May administration and in August for the October administration
  • The fee (2012) to register to take the CNPE is $1321.83
  • CNPE Exam Format:
    • 190 to 220 multiple-choice questions
    • Four hours
    • Tests these 42 Competencies
  • CNPE Preparation:

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Exam

  • Administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Given in Saskatoon in May and October
  • You must apply by July for the October exam and by March for the May exam
  • To determine the fee and the application process, contact SRNA at 800-667-4200 or exams@srna.org
  • Click here for more information on the exam format and preparation materials available

Adult Nurse Practitioner Exam

  • Administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Given in Saskatoon in May and October
  • You must apply by July for the October exam and by March for the May exam
  • To determine the fee and the application process, contact SRNA at 800-667-4200 or exams@srna.org
  • Click here for more information on the exam format and preparation materials available

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Exam

  • Administered by the National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • Computerized tests administered year round; paper and pencil tests given in September, both at AMP assessment centers
  • Deadline to file for the September test is July. Computerized testing occurs in 90 day cycles year round starting on the 5th and 20th of each month.
  • Fee is $300 for computerized exam and $250 for the paper and pencil exam
  • Click here for more information on the exam format and preparation materials available


 

Step 3. Apply for your RN (NP) License

If you have completed your NP program in Saskatchewan and have 4500 hours of experience as an RN, you are ready to apply for RN (NP) licensure in Saskatchewan.

If you have completed your RN program in Canada but not in Saskatchewan, you must meet the following qualifications prior to applying:

  • Be registered as an RN with the SRNA
  • Have been registered as an NP in good standing in your previous jurisdiction
  • Meet the recency or hours of practice requirement – one of the following conditions must be met:
    • Worked 1800 hours of nursing practice, 600 of them clinical, in the past three years
    • Graduated from an SRNA-approved NP program
    • Completed an approved NP-reentry program (if within the past three years, have the transcript and verification sent to SRNA)
    • Have met NP continuing competence requirements in your last jurisdiction
    • Completed a Controlled Drug and Substance Act (CDSA) course

Graduate Nurse Practitioner

If you would like to register as a Graduate Nurse Practitioner RN (GNP), you may do so when you register to take the exam and for your SRNA RN (NP) license. Registering as a Graduate Nurse Practitioner allows you to work as an RN (GNP) from the time you graduate until the time you take the examination. Your duties are limited from that of a full-fledged RN (NP) and you must work in collaboration with a licensed RN (NP) or doctor. You may work as an RN (GNP) for eight months, and can renew this registration once. The form to apply for RN (GNP) license is located in the Nurse Practitioner License Application Packet.

Apply for your Nurse Practitioner License:

After you have completed your NP education and have worked for at least 4500 hours as an RN, you are ready to apply for your RN (NP) license in Saskatchewan. The form you file will depend on your education:

Documents and Fees to Send:

  • Saskatchewan-educated NP graduate:
    • Complete, signed application form
    • Fee of $157.50 payable to SRNA in Canadian funds only (money order, check or credit card via form included in application packet)
    • Consent Form to Obtain Employment Reference Information for Nurse Practitioner, if you have already practiced as an RN (GNP) or RN (NP). This form is included within application packet.
    • Exam application and fee
    • Complete the Verification of Completion of Nursing Education Program and Request for Nurse Practitioner Transcript forms (located within application packet) and forward them to the institution where you received your NP education. They must return the verification and transcript directly to SRNA.
  • Canadian-educated NP graduate:
    • Complete, signed application form
    • Fee of $157.50 payable to SRNA in Canadian funds only (money order, check or credit card via form included in application packet)
    • Consent Form to Obtain Employment Reference Information for Nurse Practitioner, if you have already practiced as an RN (GNP) or RN (NP). This form is included within application packet.
    • Have the regulatory body in the jurisdiction in which you were last registered/licensed as an NP complete the Verification of Nurse Practitioner Current/Most Recent Registration/Licensure form (included in application packet) and return directly to SRNA
    • Have that regulatory body in the jurisdiction where you were originally registered or licensed as an NP complete the Verification of Nurse Practitioner Original Registration/Licensure form and return it directly to SRNA.
  • Mail all documents, fees and applications to Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association, 2066 Retallack St, Regina, SK S4T 7X5 Canada
  • The SRNA will open a file once your documents and fees are received and ask for additional clarification or information if necessary
  • Once they have received forms from your employers/regulatory bodies/educational institutions, they will notify you that your application is complete and that you are eligible to sit for the exam
  • After you pass the exam, SRNA will mail you instructions on how to proceed with your RN (NP) license


 

Step 4. Renewing Your License

You must fulfill certain requirements set forth by the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA) in order to maintain your RN (NP) license. During the three years prior to renewing your license, you must have completed one of the following:

  • 1800 hours of SRNA-approved RN (NP) activities
  • An approved NP reentry program

If you have worked as an RN (NP) outside of Saskatchewan during the past three years, you must be registered in that jurisdiction and maintain membership in the SRNA if you wish for those hours to count towards the necessary practice hours for an RN (NP) under SRNA rules.

Approved RN (NP) Activities to Maintain Licensure:

The following activities have been approved by the SRNA for RN (NP) s to maintain practice eligibility in Saskatchewan:

  1. Direct Care – must amount to at least 600 hours every three years and you must do a self-audit to assess your competence and practice
  2. Education/Facilitation – You must act as a faculty or instructor of an RN (NP) educational program.
    • Lecture time is counted as actual hours plus three hours for preparation
    • Clinical preceptorship is counted as actual hours worked
    • Curriculum development is counted as actual hours spent
    • Online course delivery is counted as one hour per student per week of the course, up to a maximum of 12 hours per week
  3. Research- must build on your RN (NP) practice and be previously approved by the Registrar of the SRNA council
  4. Administration – management of your RN (NP) practice, must be previously approved by the Registrar of the SRNA council
  5. Continuing NP Education – must be previously approved by the Registrar of the SRNA Council and consist of one or a combination of the following:
    • Full time study towards a masters or doctoral degree that builds on RN (NP) competencies
    • Part time study that builds on RN (NP) competencies
    • Professional conferences  that focus on RN (NP) competencies (considered on an individual basis)
    • Associate degrees  (considered on an individual basis)
    • Home study courses (considered on an individual basis)

For more information on approved activities or to attain SRNA approval, contact Shirley McKay, RN, Director of Regulatory Services at 306-359-4200 or 800-667-9945.

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in Saskatchewan

Joining one of the following professional membership organizations can provide you with support, networking, and employment opportunities:

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