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A nursing temporary licence is a unique licence that allows you to temporarily practise nursing, with some conditions and restrictions, until you’re able to obtain an active-practising licence. The temporary licence creates the balance between providing nurses with the clinical experience to improve their nursing competencies while at the same time creating practical safeguards so client safety remains high.

You must have a temporary licence before starting employment orientation (including classroom orientation).


Who can be issued a temporary licence?

You can be issued a temporary licence if:

  1. You have completed all nursing program requirements at a Nova Scotia university or in another Canadian jurisdiction.
  2. You have graduated from a nursing program in another jurisdiction outside of Canada and have been deemed by CRNNS to be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN® Exam.

I’m a new Nova Scotia Graduate and I want to apply for a temporary licence.

There are several steps required before being eligible for a temporary licence:

  1. Submit your Initial Registration Assessment Application online on the Initial Applicant Portal
  2. Submit the Temporary Licence Application online on the Initial Applicant Portal
  3. Pay the temporary licence fee and the Jurisprudence Exam fee. The fees are non-refundable and can be paid in the Initial Applicant Portal by credit card.
  4. Submit proof of legal name (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) and photo identification (i.e. passport, driver’s licence, government issued photo ID). Submit both items to us either through the mail or email. Unclear and/or faxed copies will not be accepted.
  5. Submit the original hard copy of your Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check by mail or in person or complete the online Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check. The original hard copy may be returned to you upon request.
  6. Pass the RN Jurisprudence Exam
  7. Your school of nursing will submit confirmation that all your program requirements have been completed.

I’m a new Out-of-Province (but in Canada) Graduate and I want to apply for a temporary licence.

There are several steps required before being eligible for a temporary licence:

  1. Submit your Initial Registration Assessment Application online on the Initial Applicant Portal
  2. Submit the Temporary Licence Application online on the Initial Applicant Portal
  3. Pay the assessment fee, temporary licence fee and the Jurisprudence Exam fee. The fees are non-refundable and can be paid in the Initial Applicant Portal by credit card.
  4. Submit proof of legal name (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) and photo identification (i.e. passport, driver’s licence, government issued photo ID). Submit both items to us either through the mail or email. Unclear and/or faxed copies will not be accepted.
  5. Submit English Language Proficiency to us through email if applicable.
  6. Have the form Confirmation of Program Completion from Regulatory Body completed.
  7. Submit the original hard copy of your Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check by mail or in person or complete the online Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check. The original hard copy may be returned to you upon request.
  8. Pass the RN Jurisprudence Exam

I’m an internationally educated nurse who has never been registered or licensed in Canada and I want to apply for a temporary licence.

There are several steps required before being eligible for a temporary licence:

  1. Apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). This includes registering with NNAS, completing forms, paying NNAS fees and monitoring your application with them
  2. Submit the Application for Initial Registration Assessment for IENS who are NOT Currently Licensed in Canada and pay the fee
  3. Wait for a confirmation of eligibility from us to write the NCLEX-RN® Exam
  4. Submit a Temporary Licence Application and paying the fee
  5. Pay the Jurisprudence Exam fee
  6. Submit the original hard copy of your Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check by mail or in person or complete the online Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check. The original hard copy may be returned to you upon request
  7. Pass the RN Jurisprudence Exam

What are the restrictions of a temporary licence?

As a temporary licence holder, you must:

  • have on-site access to an RN for assistance and consultation; however if you have failed the NCLEX you must have access to a designated RN for assistance, consultation and guidance;
  • not assume the responsibilities of a care area (facility or unit) which would include making client assignments based on client acuity;
  • not perform delegated functions;
  • not independently initiate a care directive;
  • notify CRNNS of your NCLEX-RN results if you are a Canadian graduates from outside Nova Scotia.

Do I have professional liability insurance if I hold a temporary licence?

Yes. You will be automatically covered for professional liability insurance through the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS).

How long is my temporary licence valid?

Your temporary licence is valid for four months from the date of issue. A temporary licence will not be issued 12 months from the date you completed the requirements of your nursing program.

The date the graduate completes the requirements of their nursing program is defined as:

  • For Nova Scotia Graduates: the date the CRNNS receives the list of confirmed graduates from the Nova Scotia Schools of nursing
  • For out of province graduates: the date the regulatory body or school of nursing indicates the applicant has met all requirements of their nursing program.

When is my temporary licence no longer valid?

Your temporary licence is no longer valid on the date:

  • Your temporary licence expires
  • We receive notification that you have failed the NCLEX-RN® Exam. You must stop work immediately and notify your employer.
  • Of suspension or revocation of the licence under the professional conduct process.
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