First LPN/RPN Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Specialty Certification Exam in Gerontology now available in 2019

CNA is proud to offer a gerontological certification exam for licensed/registered practical nurses (LPNs/RPNs) across Canada. It will fill an important need because of the large number of LPNs/RPNs working in long-term and seniors care.

The CNA Certification Program is designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills expected of a nurse with at least two years of experience in a given specialty. The exam will test you on national standards created by nursing experts rather than a core curriculum of study.

Because the exam will assess your experience, your preparation will be based on what you already know. You should therefore study to refresh your knowledge of your nursing specialty, especially those practice areas you haven’t been exposed to recently. (CNA, 2019)

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Frequently Asked Question:

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to write the exam, you will need to demonstrate that within the last five years you have worked the equivalent of two years full-time (3,900 hours) as an LPN/RPN in gerontology. Hours must be confirmed by your supervisor.

When can I take the exam?

In November CNA will offer the first exam in Gerontological Nursing to licensed/registered practical nurses. The exam window is November 1-15th, 2019

How do I apply to for the exam?

The application submission window is June 27-September 30 if you wish to take the exam scheduled for November. Please apply using the application link to learn more about the process.

Members of the GNSIG (GNAO) members are also eligible to receive an additional 20% off the certification exam fee. Please contact CGNA prior to applying to receive you discount code.

How do I prepare for this exam?

It is recommended to review your gerontology knowledge to prepare for the exam, study groups established by individuals and organizations are available to assist RPNs prepare for this exam. Currently two study groups are available:

Gerontological Nursing workshop for RNs and RPNs.
Location: Ontario Shores
CNA Certification Workshops Information Page,
CNA Pre-Exam Workshop Registration Page
Contact: Paula McGrath in Professional Practice at Registration Deadline is August 23rd, 2019 or when the workshop has reached maximum registration capacity. The registration is now live.


Gerontological Nursing Certification for RNs and RPNS – Study group

Location: Online, webinar series every Thursday from September to October 2019

Please note this study group is hosted in BC, please add THREE hours to the times posted
Study group schedule Information Page [PDF, 70.8 KB], 
Register at
Contact for questions. The webinars will be recorded and posted on CGNA website as education resources for CGNA members.

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Are there any financial supports for RPNs interested in taking the exam?

For RPNAO members who successfully achieve the new Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Practical Nurses Gerontology Specialty Certification (GSC) grants are available.

Grant Amounts

RPNAO Members:  $365                                                RPNAO Members with CNA Membership: $150

*variation based on equitable exam reimbursement fee- RPNAO members with CNA membership receive an addition CNA discount 


  • RPNAO Full Year Regular Member at the time of exam writing
  • Supporting documentation:  Proof of Exam Fee Payment & Proof of Successful Completion of Gerontology Specialty Certification Exam
  • GSC Grant Applications with supporting documentation must be received within 90 days of receipt of results

*Recipients of funding from the RPNAO 2019 GSC Grant will be issued T4A tax information in accordance with the Income Tax Act. The total amount of the grant received is subject to income tax.

How do I apply for funding?

The fillable form can be uploaded to RPN Connect or can be completed directly on line with the required proof of successful completion and proof of payment. Applications will only be accepted through online submission. Applications submission process opens November 1, 2019.

For more information about the grants, please contact Annette Weeres, Director, Professional Practice