I am Michelle Lalonde, assistant professor in the French-language program at the University of Ottawa.
The University of Ottawa offers a bachelor of nursing in English, in French, and as an immersion program. We have the same admission criteria for all programs. Our programs have been approved for five years by the CASN.
Since the NCLEX-RN exam was introduced in 2015, there has been a drop in the number of francophone graduates from the University of Ottawa who have written the exam in French. The pass rate has been below 40%. In 2016, just 15.8% of our students wrote the exam in French, and the pass rate was 39%. In 2017, it is expected that 64% of students will write the exam in English.
Here are the main reasons that University of Ottawa graduates do not want to write the exam in French. They feel that the preparatory resources in French are inadequate and that the translation is poor. This has also been reported in the media. As a result, they are afraid of failing the exam. Failing the exam can result in job loss, as well as the additional cost of writing the exam again. Our second-year students are already expressing fears about the exam.
As a school and as teachers, we are afraid of the negative impact this will have on minority francophone communities.