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About The clinical competency assessment process

Watch this brief video for more information (3:43 minutes)


This assessment is an opportunity for you to demonstrate how your knowledge and practice matches what is expected of registered nurses to deliver safe and competent care. All registered nurses must demonstrate that they can meet the entry-level competencies.


The assessment is currently made up these components:

  • Written diagnostic exams
  • Clinical Judgment Scenarios (CJS)
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • safeMedicate learning modules and pharmacology calculation exam

Preparing for the assessment

The CCA looks at entry-level competencies; it does not look at expert levels of nursing practice.

Even if you have practiced in a highly specialized area, your knowledge and practice is being compared to entry-level competencies. You will likely need to refresh your entry-level knowledge before you take the CCA.

We have created a candidate guide to assist nurses as they prepare for assessment. Please ensure that you read the guide carefully before starting your application:


You may be asked to complete assessments in any or all of the following areas:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Community health
  • Emergency care
  • Geriatrics
  • Medical
  • Mental health
  • Obstetrics
  • Palliative care
  • Pediatric and adolescent health
  • Surgical

NOTE: A remote delivery/virtual option is available for candidates outside of Winnipeg that have equipment meeting the minimum technical requirements.

How to apply


This assessment offers nurses the chance to showcase their prescribing knowledge, skills, and judgment in a practical setting. The examination is designed to evaluate an individual's practice, identifying any gaps in their ability to meet the Competencies for Nursing Authorized Prescribers in Manitoba.


The assessment is comprised of the following components:

  • Written diagnostic exams
  • Clinical Judgment Scenarios (CJS)
  • Objective-Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE)
  • safeMedicate learning modules and pharmacology calculation exam

For additional information, please refer to the following links:

NOTE: A remote delivery option for all components of the CCA is under development.

Preparing for the assessment

We have prepared several resource items to help you refresh your knowledge and prepare for your assessment. Please see the resources section.


The assessments focus on evaluating the clinical competence of authorized prescribers in two distinct areas:

Authorized prescriber reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne pathogens:

  • Competencies are assessed under the following headings:
    • Assessment and diagnosis of client health/illness status
    • Pharmacotherapeutics and other therapeutic interventions in client care
    • Professional responsibilities and accountabilities

Authorized prescriber diabetes health:

  • Competencies are assessed under the same headings as the previous assessment:
    • Assessment and diagnosis of client health/illness status
    • Pharmacotherapeutics and other therapeutic interventions in client care
    • Professional responsibilities and accountabilities

These assessments collectively ensure a comprehensive evaluation of competencies for authorized prescribers in both reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, and blood-borne pathogens, as well as diabetes health.

Registered nurses and Authorized prescribers Written exam details

Whether you are pursuing authorization as a registered nurse or an authorized prescriber, the written exams serve as crucial assessments of your nursing knowledge and proficiency.


The RN Clinical Competency Assessment Exams and the AP Clinical Competency Assessment Exam are computer-based written examinations.

These exams are accessible online through the University of Manitoba Learning Management System, known as UM Learn (also referred to as Brightspace or D2L).

Candidates are required to take the exams at home, in a quiet and private space. If a suitable location is not available at home, an alternative space may be chosen. However, it is essential to ensure that you are alone throughout the entire exam.

The exams are closely monitored and recorded through a webcam and a program called Respondus Monitor. This program detects and flags any abnormal movements or talking. Additionally, it is important to note that the contents of all exams are confidential, and no one else can view your computer screen during the exam.

Within your designated exam room, you are allowed to have:

  • Calculator
  • Clear bottle of water
  • Pencils
  • Scrap paper (limited to one sheet)

To successfully pass the written exam, you must attain a minimum score of 65%.

Technical requirements

You will need:

  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Web camera (internal or external)
  • Reliable broadband internet connection
  • Operating system: Windows 10, 8, 7, or Mac OS X 10.12 or higher

If you don't have a computer meeting these specifications, you can borrow a laptop from the College of Nursing. The borrowed laptop will come pre-loaded with Respondus Monitor. You can pick up the laptop the day before your exam(s) and return it the day after completion. Please note that a $100 refundable deposit is required.

Confidentiality and conduct

Upon booking an AP CCA, candidates are required to read and sign a confidentiality agreement. This agreement stipulates that candidates must not disseminate or reveal any content of the CCA. Breaches of confidentiality include, but are not limited to:

  1. Comparing client and candidate responses with colleagues
  2. Sharing exam content
  3. Posting case information or exam questions online
  4. Engaging in cheating or dishonest behaviors during the exams

NOTE: Any breach in the confidentiality of AP CCA material may result in disciplinary and legal measures, including the invalidation of your results. CRNM or CRPNM will be promptly notified of any breaches.


Additional resources for authorized prescribers

Courses Nursing professional development series

Recognizing the diverse needs and time constraints of today's nursing professionals, we offer a flexible learning approach combining synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (on your own time) methods. This ensures that regardless of where you are in the world or what your schedule looks like, you can access essential learning and development opportunities Whether you choose to focus on a single course or undertake all three to comprehensively enhance your skills, this series is structured to support your professional growth.

The Professional Development Series is designed for nurses at various stages of their careers, including Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs), newcomers to Manitoba, professionals returning after a hiatus, and those seeking to refresh their knowledge.

This series consists of three short courses:

  1. Nursing in Manitoba
  2. Communication in Nursing
  3. Principles of Basic Medication Administration and Psychomotor Skills

Course description: Nursing in Manitoba

Nursing in Manitoba is tailored specifically for health-care professionals, particularly those who are either newly arriving in Manitoba, new to the Canadian health-care system or returning to nursing practice after a hiatus. This program will examine the various facets of nursing within Manitoba’s unique health-care landscape. It encompasses a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the foundational elements of the Manitoba health-care system to the specific practices and challenges faced by nurses in this region.

The course also emphasizes the importance of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork in delivering effective patient care, as well as the legal, ethical and professional standards governing nursing in Manitoba.

This course aims to equip nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in Manitoba's health-care settings. It is ideal for those looking to bridge any gaps in their understanding of nursing practices in Manitoba and adapt to the specific requirements and expectations of the Manitoba health-care system. Whether for new arrivals or those re-entering the nursing field, this course offers an invaluable opportunity to align their experience and skills with Manitoba’s health-care standards and practices.

This course includes the following key areas:

  1. Roles of health-care team members: Students will explore the roles and responsibilities of various health-care team members including health care aides, physiotherapists, occupational health professionals, medical practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and social workers. Emphasis will be on their unique contributions to patient care in Manitoba.
  2. Interprofessional team collaboration: The course will cover the dynamics of working in interprofessional teams. Students will learn about effective communication, mutual respect and the importance of understanding different professional roles in health-care settings.
  3. Nurse as advocate: Advocacy is a critical component of nursing. The course will focus on how nurses can advocate for patients, including understanding patients’ rights and promoting equitable access to health-care services.
  4. Canadian health-care system: Understanding the Canadian health-care system, with a special focus on Manitoba, will be a key part of the curriculum. This includes studying its structure, function, and regional variations.
  5. Scope of practice, practice standards and ethics: This topic covers the legal, ethical and professional standards that define and regulate nursing practice in Manitoba, including ethical decision-making in complex care situations.
  6. Entry-level competencies for registered nurses: The course will outline the necessary competencies for entry-level registered nurses in Manitoba, focusing on clinical skills, critical thinking, patient safety and evidence-based practice.
  7. Utilization of community resources: Students will learn how to effectively identify and use community resources to enhance patient care and support, particularly in Manitoba’s diverse health-care settings.
  8. Culturally competent care for Indigenous clients: The course emphasizes developing cultural competence in nursing care, especially in understanding and addressing the health needs and cultural sensitivities of Indigenous communities in Manitoba.
  9. PHIA/FIPPA and social media guidelines: Students will be educated on the principles and regulations related to personal health information, freedom of information, and responsible social media use in the context of nursing and patient confidentiality.

Course structure
This course includes asynchronous lectures, practical workshops, and simulation exercises designed to apply communication theories and techniques in real-world scenarios.

Who should enroll
This course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of nursing in Manitoba, preparing them to provide safe patient care. It is ideal for any health-care professional who wish to pursue nursing in Manitoba.

This eight-week short course is designed to be flexible and accessible, fitting into the busy schedules of health-care professionals. 

How to register
To register for this course, please email

Course description: Communication in Nursing

Communication in Nursing is a course designed as part of the Nursing Professional Development Series, specifically aimed at nurses seeking to enhance their communication skills within the Manitoba health-care environment. This course is for those planning to work in clinical settings, where clear and empathetic communication is crucial for effective patient care and teamwork.

This course includes the following key areas:

  1. The role of communication: This section underscores the importance of effective communication in nursing, highlighting how it directly impacts patient outcomes and team efficiency. Participants will explore the foundational principles of communication theory as applied to health care, understanding the dynamics between verbal, non-verbal and written communication. By examining real-world case studies, nurses will recognize the role of clear communication in preventing errors, enhancing patient satisfaction and facilitating interprofessional collaboration.
  2. Empathy and listening skills: Nurses will engage in exercises designed to deepen their empathy and active listening skills, critical components of patient-centered care. This module includes techniques for showing understanding and compassion, even in high-stress environments. Through role-playing and feedback sessions, participants will practice how to effectively listen to patient concerns and respond in a manner that validates their experiences, fostering a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship.
  3. Patient participation: This area focuses on strategies to encourage patient involvement in their own care, an essential aspect of improving health outcomes. Nurses will learn how to use motivational interviewing techniques, shared decision-making models and patient education to empower individuals. Techniques for simplifying medical jargon and using teach-back methods to verify understanding will be practiced, ensuring patients are informed and engaged partners in their health-care journey.
  4. Team collaboration: Participants will explore the dynamics of healthcare teams and how effective communication can lead to more cohesive and productive interactions. The module covers conflict resolution, delegation and feedback mechanisms within interprofessional teams. Nurses will participate in team-building activities and simulations that emphasize the importance of mutual respect, shared goals and open communication in achieving optimal patient care.
  5. ISBARR framework: This section provides comprehensive training on the ISBARR (identify, situation, background, assessment, recommendation, repeat) communication tool, designed to enhance the clarity and efficiency of information exchange in health-care settings. Nurses will learn how to structure information during handovers, emergency situations and routine updates, reducing the risk of miscommunication. Practical exercises will allow nurses to apply ISBARR in various clinical scenarios, reinforcing its role in promoting patient safety.
  6. Challenging interactions: Nurses often encounter difficult conversations with patients and families, whether delivering bad news, addressing non-compliance, or managing emotional responses. This module equips nurses with strategies for handling such interactions with sensitivity and professionalism. Role-playing exercises, guided reflection, and scenario analysis will help participants develop the skills to manage these conversations constructively, maintaining the dignity and respect of all involved.
  7. Ethical and legal considerations: Understanding the ethical and legal frameworks governing communication in nursing is crucial. This module addresses confidentiality, informed consent and professional boundaries, providing nurses with a clear understanding of their obligations. Discussion on ethical dilemmas and case law will highlight the importance of ethical decision-making in nursing communication, ensuring respect for patient rights and autonomy.
  8. Awareness of personal biases: Recognizing and managing personal biases is essential in providing equitable care. This section encourages self-reflection and awareness, helping nurses identify how unconscious biases may affect their communication and decision-making. Through interactive workshops and cultural competence training, nurses will learn strategies to minimize the impact of biases on patient care, promoting inclusivity and respect in their professional interactions.
  9. Interviewing techniques: Effective interviewing skills are key to gathering comprehensive patient histories and understanding their health concerns. This module covers various interviewing styles and techniques, emphasizing the importance of open-ended questions, empathy and active listening. Nurses will practice these skills in simulated patient interviews, receiving feedback to refine their approach and ensure they can elicit detailed and relevant information from patients and families.
  10. Documentation: Accurate and comprehensive documentation is a cornerstone of quality patient care. This section delves into the best practices for clinical documentation, including the SOAPIE (subjective, objective, assessment, plan, interventions, evaluation) and DA(R)P (data, assessment (and response), plan) methods, and narrative charting. Nurses will learn the legal significance of documentation, strategies to avoid common pitfalls, and how to use electronic health records effectively. Practical exercises will reinforce the importance of clear, concise and timely documentation in supporting patient care continuity, legal compliance and professional accountability.

Course structure
This course includes asynchronous lectures, practical workshops and simulation exercises designed to apply communication theories and techniques in real-world scenarios.

Who should enroll
This course is ideal for any health-care professionals who wish to enhance their communication skills. It is especially beneficial for those looking to improve their patient interactions, teamwork and overall effectiveness in health-care settings.

This eight-week short course is designed to be flexible and accessible, fitting into the busy schedules of health-care professionals. 

How to register
To register for this course, please email

Course description: Principles of Basic Medication Administration and Psychomotor Skills

The Principles of Basic Medication Administration and Psychomotor Skills course is a part of the Nursing Professional Development Series, designed to equip nurses with critical skills in medication administration and essential psychomotor abilities. This course is developed for nurses new to Manitoba, those returning to the field after a hiatus, and practicing nurses seeking to refine their medication administration, assessment and psychomotor skills.

This course includes the following key areas:

  1. OPQRSTU (onset, provocation, quality, region, severity, time) investigations: Through interactive scenarios and simulations, participants will learn to ask the right questions to obtain a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s pain, an essential skill for accurate diagnosis and effective pain management.
  2. Comprehensive health history interviews: Participants will learn interviewing techniques to elicit a detailed and accurate health history from patients. This includes understanding how to create a comfortable environment for patients to share sensitive information, using open-ended questions to gather comprehensive data, and employing strategies to ensure all aspects of a patient’s health are explored. This module emphasizes the importance of cultural competence and empathy in patient interactions.
  3. Vital signs measurement and interpretation: Participants will review the techniques for accurately measuring and interpreting vital signs, including temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. Nurses will learn how to use various instruments and equipment used in Manitoba, understand normal ranges, and recognize signs of deterioration or distress in patients. Case studies will help reinforce the importance of vital signs in assessing a patient’s health status and responding to emergencies.
  4. Physical assessments: Learners will perform comprehensive physical examinations, using a systematic approach to assess each body system. This includes developing skills in inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation with the focus on differentiating between normal and abnormal findings and documenting assessments accurately. Special attention will be given to performing focused assessments in response to specific health issues.
  5. Medication administration rights: Nurses will review the rights of medication administration. Including the critical skill of accurately interpreting and transcribing physicians’ orders. Participants will learn about the different types of orders, common abbreviations and the importance of clarifying unclear orders to prevent medication errors. Other topics include understanding drug monographs, using Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and operating Pyxis systems for safe medication management.
  6. High-alert medications: This module focuses on the safe handling and administration of high-alert medications, which pose a higher risk of causing significant patient harm when used in error. Nurses will learn strategies to minimize risks, including double-checking processes, special storage considerations and patient education about potential side effects.
  7. Medication administration routes: Participants will gain hands-on experience with administering medications via various routes, including oral, drops (otic, ophthalmic, nasal), intramuscular, subcutaneous and intravenous. The module covers the techniques, advantages and considerations for each route, along with practice opportunities using simulation models.
  8. IV pump operations: Nurses will practice how to operate IV infusion pumps. This includes setting up the pump, programming infusion rates, troubleshooting alarms, and ensuring patient safety through accurate calculations and monitoring.
  9. Catheter and sterile wound care: Nurses will develop proficiency in catheter care, including insertion, maintenance and removal, along with managing sterile wound dressings. The course emphasizes infection control practices, patient comfort and techniques to prevent complications such as urinary tract infections and pressure ulcers.
  10. Infection prevention: The principles of infection prevention and control will be discussed, including the use of personal protective equipment, implementing isolation precautions and strategies to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases within health-care settings. Scenarios and simulations will reinforce best practices in different clinical situations.
  11. Oxygenation principles: Nurses will learn the physiological principles of oxygenation and how to assess and support patients requiring oxygen therapy. The module includes training on interpreting arterial blood gases, understanding hypoxia and managing patients with various oxygen delivery systems, ensuring optimal oxygenation levels are maintained.
  12. Respiratory care equipment: Participants will discuss indications for and application of respiratory equipment, including nasal prongs, rebreather masks and suction devices. 

Program delivery
This course is delivered through a virtual platform (UM Learn), combining synchronous and asynchronous content to accommodate the diverse schedules of nursing professionals. The curriculum includes lectures, hands-on practice sessions and simulation exercises to provide a practical understanding of medication administration and psychomotor skills. 

Who should enroll
This course is ideal for:

  • Nurses new to Manitoba seeking to understand local health-care practices.
  • Practicing nurses aiming to update or refresh their medication administration and psychomotor skills.
  • Nurses re-entering the profession and needing a comprehensive refresher course to align with current standards.

Course structure
This eight-week short course is designed to be flexible and accessible, fitting into the busy schedules of health-care professionals. 

How to register
To register for this course, please email

Contact us

For enquires please contact us at the following emails: 

College of Nursing
Helen Glass Centre for Nursing
89 Curry Place
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada