​​​​​​​​​How it works ​

NCAS uses a combination of a computer-based Assessment (CBA) and a simulation lab assessment (SLA) to assess the extent to which applicants demonstrate the entry-to-practice skills and competencies required for practice in their desired profession.

Candidates have one year from their referral date to complete the NCAS assessment. It is important to note that the CBA and SLA(s) must be completed within six months of each other.

While the assessments may be taken in any order, we encourage you to take the CBA first as it will help you prepare yourself better for the SLA(s). 

Computer-Based Assessment (CBA)

  • The CBA is a three or five hour proctored, computer-based assessment made up of gradually unfolding cases that take you through the step-by-step process of clinical thinking and decision making. The CBA is taken at a proctored computer lab operated by Prometric Testing Centres, and is offered in many countries and cities in the world.
  • RPN only: Registered Psychiatric Nurse candidates can complete their CBA virtually via remote proctoring with Prometric; this option is available when scheduling.

Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA)

  • ​The SLA allows you to demonstrate your ability to conduct patient assessments, perform nursing interventions, communicate effectively with patients, and make clinical decisions in a safe environment.​

  • The SLA includes three or five different stations. Each station will focus on one clinical scenario. All stations will include a specially trained actor in the role of a patient.

  • The simulations include actors, or standardized patients. You will encounter them in all the stations, even if you don't see them. Sometimes they will play the role of the patient face-to-face, and sometimes they will be the voice behind a mannequin in the room, speaking to you in real time, as you care for your patient.

  • The mannequins are programmed to simulate various health conditions appropriate to your nursing role. The simulation environment will contain the necessary healthcare equipment to support appropriate patient care within the scope of your role.

  • An assessor will be present in the room with you and will observe your interactions during each scenario.

  • The HCA SLA, dual-track (RN/LPN) SLA and triple-track (RN/LPN/HCA) SLA must be taken in-person at an NCAS Assessment Centre. The SLA will take place in a nursing simulation lab. For British Columbia referrals, the SLA is offered only in Vancouver, BC. For Maritime Canada referrals, the SLA is offered only in Halifax, Nova Scotia.​​

  • The RPN SLA is taken virtually via a videoconferencing platform. We will provide instruction when your SLA is scheduled.​ 

Learn more about each simulation lab assessment: 

​​​

Assessments Availa​​​ble


​BC

Sas​k.

New Bruns.

​Nova Scotia

​PEI

​Structure
of the assessment

Health Care Assistant (HCA)
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Computer-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 2.5 hours (5 x 10-minute cases)​

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

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Computer-based assessment: 3 hours
Simulation lab assessment: 3 hours (3 x 20-minute cases)​​​

Registered Nurse (RN)

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Computer-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 3.5 hours (5 x 20-minute cases)

Dual-track (RN/LPN)

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Computer-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 3.5 hours (5 x 20-minute cases)

Triple-track (RN/LPN/HCA)

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Computer-based assessment: 5 hours

Simulation lab assessments: 6 hours
> HCA SLA: 2.5 hours, 5 x 10-minute cases
RN and LPN SLA​: 3.5 hours, 5 x 20-minute cases 

Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)

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Computer-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 3 hours (3 x 45-minute cases, each followed by a 10-minute oral assessment)​



The NCAS Process (Step by Step)

  1. ​NCAS receives a referral directly from your referring organization. 
  2. Within two weeks of receiving your referral, NCAS will contact you via email to confirm receipt of your referral. At this time, you'll be asked to set up an online account. Here you are prompted to sign a Consent and Confidentiality Agreement and confirm your personal information.  
  3. Within 3-5 business days of completing your Consent and Confidentiality Agreement, you receive an email requesting payment for your assessment fees.  
  4. Within 3-5 business days of payment, you will receive two scheduling emails from us – one for your CBA and the other for your SLA(s). Please note that you must complete your CBA and SLA(s) within six months of each other. The CBA is self-scheduled via a Prometric webpage. You can find a time and testing location that works for you. The SLA is scheduled by NCAS directly. The SLA is taken in-person at an NCAS Assessment Centre (virtually for RPN SLA only). 
  5. You can expect your Performance Report(s)  within 60 days from your completion of the assessment. It is released to you first, and then 15 days later, to your referring organization. Further information on the NCAS Performance Report can be found her​e.​​