Steps to Becoming an APN in Prince Edward Island

1Get your Graduate Degree in Prince Edward Island
2Take Your Nurses Practitioner Examination in Prince Edward Island
3Receive Your Nurse Practitioner Endorsement in Prince Edward Island
4Renewing Your Endorsement in Prince Edward Island

The Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island (ARNPEI) (902-368-3764, [email protected]) regulates and endorses advanced practice nurses in the following categories:

Prince Edward Island Stats

  • 2011 average salary for RNs in Prince Edward Island: $50,749
  • 2012, 36% of RNs have a bachelor’s degree
  • 2012, 51.1% of RNs hold full-time positions
  • Number of RNs in Prince Edward Island: 1,428
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Prince Edward Island has recognized nurse practitioners since 2006 (the last province to do so).

To be eligible for endorsement as an NP in Prince Edward Island, you must first possess a current, valid RN registration:

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

The Canadian Nurses Association recognizes the advanced practice nurse as a professional who has achieved a graduate level education in nursing. As such, to work toward NP endorsement in Prince Edward Island, you must possess a master’s-level nursing degree that includes a substantial clinical component.

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Prince Edward Island recently acquired its first Master of Nursing program (MN) within the province in 2011, available at the University of Prince Edward Island. This MN program, which is designed to build upon the guiding principles of primary healthcare through the integration of theory, research, and practice, has two streams in which students can specialize: the thesis stream and the nurse practitioner stream.

Admission to the program occurs every second year (the next year for admission is 2013). The MN program, which is two years (6 semesters) in length, prepares graduates for the advanced practice role as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner. Upon graduation, students will be eligible to write the Canadian Nurses Association Canadian Nurse Practitioner Exam.

The following courses are part of the MN program at the University of Prince Edward Island:

  • Theoretical Foundations of Nursing
  • Advanced Primary Health Care
  • Quantitative Nursing Research
  • Qualitative Nursing Research
  • Ethics in Nursing
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Across the Life Span
  • Professional Role of the Nurse Practitioner
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Human Physiology and Pathophysiology

Prescriptive Authority

The ARNPEI recognizes that NPs may “select, prescribe and monitor the effectiveness of drugs.” When the NP receives the initial endorsement from the ARNPEI, the Minister of Health grants prescriptive authority to the NP. The authorization to prescribe drugs is restricted to the authorized schedule approved by the Diagnostic and Therapeutics Committee (which is found in the ARNPEI Nurse Practitioner Regulations).

Physician Collaboration and Consultation

Every NP in Prince Edward Island must work in a collaborative relationship with a collaborating medical practitioner. As such, all NPs must complete the ARNPEI’s annual declaration that verifies the collaborative working relationship with a medical practitioner. Upon endorsement as an NP in Prince Edward Island, the ARNPEI Registrar will provide the NP with the form to complete the physician collaboration declaration.

The physician collaboration declaration must be updated annually, or when:

  • The NP or the collaborating medical practitioner ends the collaborative working relationship
  • The NP enters into a new collaborative working relationship with another medical practitioner

Step 2. Take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination

Upon completion of your nurse practitioner graduate education, you must then take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination to be eligible for endorsement in Prince Edward Island.

The Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination: Family/All Ages (CNPE:F/AA) through the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and its examination company, Assessment Strategies Inc., is a national, entry-level exam used for NPs who specialize in family/all ages/primary health care. The CNPE:F/AA Exam is used in all jurisdictions except British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec and is offered twice a year (you can check the CNA website for test dates).

Before you can take the CNPE:F/AA exam, you must secure authority to take the exam by the ARNPEI nursing regulatory authority. The exam consists of 190 to 200 multiple-choice questions and can be taken over a four-hour period. There are 42 competencies that comprise the exam’s content. You may purchase a prep guide from the CNA bookstore by calling 1-800-385-5881 for this exam.

The 42 competencies of the CNPE:F/AA exam are part of the four categories of the framework of the primary healthcare nurse practitioner, which include:

  • Professional Role, Responsibility and Accountability
  • Health Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Therapeutic Management
  • Health Promotion and Prevention of Illness and Injury

All applicants must contact their educational institutional for an application form for the CNPE:F/AA exam.

Step 3. Receive your Nurse Practitioner Endorsement

Once you have written and passed the Canadian Nurses Practitioners Exam, you are then eligible to receive endorsement through the ARNPEI. To apply for endorsement as an NP in Prince Edward Island, you must contact the ARNPEI (902-368-3764) to receive an application.

All applications for NP endorsement must be made in writing and be approved by the Registrar. To be approved for endorsement, applicants must provide evidence that they have completed one of the following within the 3 years preceding the date of the application:

  • Practiced as an NP in Prince Edward Island or another province for a total of 1,800 hours
  • Graduated from an educational program for nurse practitioners

Applicants for NP endorsement are exempt from one the above requirements if they have lawfully practiced as an NP in Prince Edward Island or another province for a total of 600 hours within the year preceding the application for endorsement.

Step 4. Renewing Your Endorsement

NP endorsements expire 12 months following the date on the endorsement. The ARNPEI Registrar will send all endorsement renewal materials prior to the expiration of the endorsement.  If you fail to receive the materials within 30 days of the expiration of your endorsement, contact the ARNPEI directly at 902-368-3764.

Continuing Competency Program Requirements

All registered nurses under the authority of the ARNPEI, including nurse practitioners, are required to complete the Continuing Competence Program (CCP) as a condition of license renewal. The CCP program consists of the following components:

  • Assessment – Assessment consists of two major components:
    • Self-assessment, which involves the completion of a self-assessment worksheet (included in the CCP document linked to above) that identifies areas of opportunity, as well as individual strengths through the review of the Standards of Nursing Practice in comparison to actions you’ve taken during past incidents
    • Peer feedback, which involves a formal and informal performance appraisal performed by a peer at least once yearly
  • Learning Plan – A learning plan must be completed during each renewal cycle and include actionable goals for professional growth and experience and classroom-based continuing education that may be reasonably achieved each year
  • Hours of Practice – As an RN in advanced practice, the ARNPEI will require you to practice no fewer than 1125 hours during each five year period as a means by which to maintain professional proficiency
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Five to ten percent of all registered nurses in PEI will be subject to a random CCP Program audit each year.

Advance Practice Nursing Associations in Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to information provided by Statistics Canada, as of 2010, the average annual salary for nurse practitioners in Prince Edward Island was $64,584, which was about $31.05 an hour. Those in the 90th percentile earned an average hourly wage of $37.40, which was an annual salary of $77,792, about $13,208 more than the overall average within the province.

Occupational Classification
Number of Professionals
Average Income
Nurse Supervisors and RNs
Registered Nurses

Employment and salary data included in these tables was produced by Census Canada in 2006 and originally published by Statistics Canada in 2008. To provide comprehensive information for comparative purposes, the data includes all Statistics Canada Occupational Classifications in which advanced practice nurses were identified.      

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