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Meeting CRNNS’ Currency of Competency Requirement

As part of the licence application, you will be required to indicate that you have remained connected and current to nursing practice. This is usually demonstrated by reporting your recent nursing practice hours or the date you have completed your nursing program.

Although this is only one requirement of your application for registration and/or licensure, new members or those in untraditional roles, settings or circumstances often have questions about this part of their application. The information below can help you determine if you meet this requirement.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Registration team at registration@crnns.ca.

How to Meet the Currency of Competency

As a nurse, you must meet one of the following five currency of competency options to be eligible for registration and/or licensure at CRNNS:

1. Meet the minimum number of hours as an RN or NP:

  1. 1125 hours in the past five licensure years as an RN (example: for your 2018 licence, you worked 1125 hours between November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017) or
  2. 450 hours in the last licensure year as an RN (example: for your 2018 licence, you worked 450 hours between November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017) or
  3. 600 hours in the past two licensure years as an NP (example: for your 2018 licence, you worked 600 hours between November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017).

Note: you are required to retain a record of their nursing practice hours for the past five licensure years if you are an RN or two years if you are an NP.

There are some rules about calculating your practice hours:

  1. Practice hours are calculated based on when they fall within the CRNNS licensure year between November 1 and October 31.
  2. The hourly requirements can only be met if the practice hours fall within the legislated definition of the practice of nursing or the practice of a nurse practitioner. If you are unsure whether your position meets the definition of the practice of nursing or the practice of a nurse practitioner, you can send your job description to Cathy Rose, CRNNS Policy Consultant, at crose@crnns.ca for review. Continue scrolling to the bottom of the page to read the legislated definition of nursing practice.
  3. Hours accumulated during the orientation period are considered nursing practice hours and should be included in your calculations.
  4. Volunteer hours cannot be counted towards your nursing practice hour requirement.

2. If you are an RN: graduated from one of the following programs in the five licensure years prior to your licence renewal application (example: for your 2018 licence, you graduated between November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017):

  1. Nova Scotia nursing education program; or
  2. a Canadian nursing program; or
  3. a registered nurse re-entry program; or
  4. an international nursing program.

3. If you are an NP: graduated from one of the following programs in the two licensure years prior to your licence renewal application (example: for your 2018 licence, you graduated between November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017):

  1. Nova Scotia nurse practitioner program; or
  2. Canadian nurse practitioner program; or
  3. an international nurse practitioner program that has been reviewed and approved by CRNNS.

4. Completed a Competence Assessment:

  1. If you are an RN: a competence assessment and successfully completed bridging education in the past 5 licensure years (example: for your 2018 licence, you completed the bridging education between November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017); or
  2. If you are an NP: a competence assessment to the satisfaction of the CRNNS NP Committee in the past 2 licensure years (example: for your 2018 licence, you completed the competence assessment requirements between November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017).

5. Information from the school of nursing that you are enrolled in and currently attend one of the following nursing programs:

  1. a post-RN baccalaureate degree program in nursing; or
  2. masters/doctorate degree program in nursing.

Note: you must have met all other CRNNS licensure requirement when you enrolled in one of the above programs.

How to Re-Establish Currency of Competency

If you do not meet one of the five options listed above, you must re-establish your currency of competency to become licensed with CRNNS. There are two ways in which you can do this:

  1. successfully complete a nursing re-entry program; or
  2. complete a competence assessment and successfully complete any required bridging education up to and including a full nursing re-entry program.

How to Define the Practice of Nursing for Registered Nurses

The practice of nursing means the application of specialized and evidence-based knowledge of nursing theory, health and human sciences, inclusive of principles of primary health care, in the provision of professional services to a broad array of clients ranging from stable or predictable to unstable or unpredictable, and includes:

  1. assessing the client to establish the client’s state of health and wellness,
  2. identifying the nursing diagnosis based on the client assessment and analysis of all relevant data and information,
  3. developing and implementing the nursing component of the client’s plan of care,
  4. co-ordinating client care in collaboration with other health care disciplines,
  5. monitoring and adjusting the plan of care based on client responses,
  6. evaluating the client’s outcomes,
  7. such other roles, functions and accountabilities within the scope of practice of the profession that support client safety and quality care, in order to:
    1. promote, maintain or restore health,
    2. prevent illness and disease,
    3. manage acute illness,
    4. manage chronic disease,
    5. provide palliative care,
    6. provide rehabilitative care,
    7. provide guidance and counseling, and
    8. make referrals to other health care providers and community resources,

It also includes research, education, consultation, management, administration, regulation, policy or system development relevant to subclauses (i) to (vii).

How to Define the Practice of a Nurse Practitioner

The practice of a nurse practitioner means the application of advanced nursing knowledge, skills and judgment in addition to the practice of nursing in which a nurse practitioner in collaborative practice may, in accordance with standards for nurse practitioners, do one or more of the following:

  1. make a diagnosis identifying a disease, disorder or condition,
  2. communicate the diagnosis to the client and health care professionals as appropriate,
  3. perform procedures,
  4. initiate, order or prescribe consultations, referrals and other acts,
  5. order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests, and recommend, prescribe or reorder drugs, blood, blood products and related paraphernalia,

It also includes research, education, consultation, management, administration, regulation, policy or system development relevant to subclauses (i) to (v).




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