Nursing students will have to be patient: the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ) will take 12 weeks, rather than 6, to correct the professional exam that took place at the end of March. This exam, consisting only of multiple-choice questions, had a high failure rate last September.

“We are in expectation and incomprehension, because the Order does not want to tell us why the correction time is as long as three months. They say it’s because of the Commissioner’s investigation, but how does the investigation increase the timelines for correction to three months? “, asks the student in the baccalaureate in nursing sciences of the University of Sherbrooke Amélie Zol.

Nearly half of nursing students (48.6%) taking the exam for the first time last September failed.

“Given the Commissioner’s investigative approach regarding the review, the Order wishes to act with caution and make additional validations in relation to the results of the March 2023 review,” the OIIQ told La Press. The correction period for the March exam has thus been reduced from 6 to 12 weeks.

The Quebec Nursing Student Association “appreciates the work of the OIIQ to ensure that the entrance exam to the profession is fair and equitable”, but “finds it unfortunate that this caution has consequences for the next generation nurse,” spokeswoman Koralie Yergeau told La Presse.

Students deplore the fact that this long time for correction is delaying the arrival of new nurses in the health network. “It puts a strain on a system that’s already under strain,” says Yergeau.

The OIIQ recognizes that “the labor shortage context is particularly difficult for members of the nursing profession and the arrival of new graduates is greatly anticipated”.

However, the Order specifies that graduates who have not yet passed the professional examination can practice in the health sector as candidates for the practice of the nursing profession (CEPI) provided they are under the supervision of a nurse.

The spokesperson for the student association, Koralie Yergeau, points out, however, that the salary of CEPIs is lower than that of nurses. “When you’re CEPI, you’re talking about a salary of $23.49 an hour, whereas once you’re a nurse with a technique, it’s $25.81 and with a baccalaureate, it’s is $27.08 per hour. It still makes a big difference to have to wait three months,” she notes.

The professional exam consists only of multiple-choice questions and is corrected by a machine, which reduces the correction time, noted the OIIQ in an article published on its website in March 2018.

The correction requires “all the same a human intervention”, one can read there. The machine “is a bit temperamental” and “can’t read overly pale shades of gray, badly erased answers, two ticked answers, etc. »

Student Amélie Zol hopes that these six additional weeks of correction will benefit the candidates. “If it’s for our own good, I don’t mind the delay, it’s not having an explanation that bothers me,” she said.

Students should receive their results at the end of June, rather than mid-May, as was the case in previous years. Those who fail can take it again in September. Candidates may take the exam a maximum of three times.