​​​​​​​​​​Get Assessed​

Most health care professionals applying to NCAS must take a competency assessment. NCAS may assess you for one or more professions, including:

    • Health Care Assistants (HCA)
    • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
    • Registered Nurses (RN)
    • Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)

NCAS uses a combination of a Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) and Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA) to assess how applicants demonstrate entry-level skills and competencies required for practice in their desired profession.

You can be registered in one health care profession by being assessed for multiple professions at once while completing the requirements to enter practice in another. When you're done with our assessments, NCAS will send your results and the rest of your documents to the regulator, who will email you the next steps. 

Candidates have one year from their referral date to complete the NCAS assessment. CBA and SLA(s) must be completed within three 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 computer-based assessment is three or five hours proctored, 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 worldwide.
  • 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 appropriate interventions, communicate effectively with patients, and make clinical decisions in a safe environment.
  • The SLA includes three (RPN or LPN only) or five (RN, Dual Track and HCA) different stations. Each station will focus on one clinical scenario. All stations will include a specially trained actor (standardized patient) in the role of a patient and an experienced nurse to assess you as you progress through the scenario.
  • All the simulations include 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 role. The simulation environment will contain the necessary health care equipment to support proper patient care within the scope of your role.
  • An experienced nurse or assessor will also be in the room with you. They will observe and assess 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, the SLA is offered only in Vancouver, BC. For Maritime referrals, the SLA is offered only in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • The RPN SLA is taken virtually via a videoconferencing platform. NCAS will provide further instructions when your SLA is scheduled.  

Learn more about each simulation lab assessment: 


Assessments Availa​​​ble



New Bruns.

Nova Scotia



of the​ assessment

Health Care Assistant (HCA)ü

Comput​er-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 2.5 hours (5 x 12-minute cases)

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)üüüü
Computer-based assessment: 3 hours
Simulation lab assessment: 3 hours (3 x 25-minute cases)
Registered Nurse (RN)üüü

Computer-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 3.5 hours (5 x 25-minute cases)

Dual-track (RN/LPN)üü

Computer-based assessment: 3 hours

Simulation lab assessment: 3.5 hours (5 x 25-minute cases)

Triple-track (RN/LPN/HCA)ü

Computer-based assessment: 5 hours

Simulation lab assessments: 6 hours
HCA SLA: 2.5 hours, 5 x 12-minute cases
RN and LPN SLA : 3.5 hours, 5 x 25-minute cases ​

Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)üü

Com​puter-based assessment: 3 hours

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