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As a new out-of-province Canadian graduate, we want to say a big welcome to Nova Scotia from the CRNNS team. We’re here to support you through this application process.

There are a few steps in this process and it’s important to take your time and be thorough to ensure you’ve completed everything, as we cannot make a decision on your application until we receive all required documents. And again, we’re just an email or phone call away if you need help.

This section is for you if you’re a new nursing graduate from an out-of-province Canadian school of nursing waiting to take or get your results from the NCLEX-RN® Exam.

All application documents must be provided in English. Translations from a certified translator are also accepted. You are responsible for the cost of all translations.


How do I apply?

There are several steps required before being eligible for initial licensure:

  1. Complete the Initial Registration Assessment Application online on the New Applicant Portal. Your application also includes the option to apply for:
  2. Submit proof of legal name (i.e. birth certificate and marriage certificate, if applicable) 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.
  3. Pay the assessment fee and the Jurisprudence Exam fee. The fees are non-refundable and can be paid in the New Applicant Portal by credit card.
  4. Complete the rest of your application. All application items must be official documents sent directly to CRNNS by an issuing authority which have not been in anyone else’s possession other than the authority and institution issuing it. We do not accept certified true copies.

The application package includes:

  1. Submit the original hard copy of your Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check/Criminal Record Check and International Criminal Record Check by mail or in person or complete the online Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check/Criminal Record Check and International Criminal Record Check. The original hard copy may be returned to you upon request.
  2. Complete an English language proficiency test if applicable.

Please be advised that registration requirements and fees are subject to change.

How do I apply for a temporary licence while I wait to complete the other components of initial licensure?

If you want to apply for a temporary licence, please apply here.

How can I track the progress of my application?

The New Applicant Portal is a secure online program that allows you to check the status of your application. Once we process your Initial Registration Assessment Application, you should get an email within 5 business days with your unique portal user ID and password and instructions on how to access your application and track its progress.

Each time we receive a document for your file, we will update your status on the portal for you to view.

How long will it take to make a decision about my application?

Once your application is complete, it is reviewed to determine if you meet all CRNNS requirements and are eligible to register and license. Allow up to 6 weeks for CRNNS to receive your documents.

Once we have received your complete application, it should be processed within 5 business days.

Please be advised that registration requirements and fees are subject to change.

When does my application expire?

Different parts of your application expire at different times:

Licensure Verifications and Employer Statements: these documents are valid for six months from the date they were issued by the issuing authority. International licensure verifications expire two years from the date they are issued.

English Language Proficiency Test: Your test expires two years from the date you took it.

If any application documents expire prior to becoming registered and/or licenced with CRNNS, your file will be placed on hold until updated documents are received. You will not be able to receive a temporary licence, register or licence with us if any part of your application is not current.

Through the New Applicant Portal, it is your responsibility to monitor the expiry of your documents and ensure your application remains up to date. We do not notify you when documents expire.

If we do not hear from you for six months and your Initial Registration Assessment Application and fee are more than six months old, your application will expire.

We do not notify you when documents expire.

What are the general RN registration and licensure criteria?

If you want to register and licence with us, you must meet all the regulatory requirements set in the
Registered Nurses Act (2006) and Regulations (2016).

To be registered and issued a licence to practise nursing, you must:

  1. submit an application
  2. pay the applicable fees
  3. have graduated from a nursing program equivalent to programs approved in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia nursing program prepare graduates to work as generalist RNs. If you have completed a specialty programs without medical and surgical nursing, you are ineligible for registration and licensure.
  4. have written the approved registration examinations: NCLEX-RN Exam and Jurisprudence Exam.
  5. have registered in the province or country where you qualified to become a registered nurse and the last place that you practised
  6. demonstrate proficiency in the English language
  7. have met all of the following criteria:
    1. not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the practice of nursing
    2. not currently under investigation by any registration or licensing authority
    3. has provided any information the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar requires to establish that the applicant has the capacity, competence, capability and character to safely and ethically practise nursing
    4. has provided any information the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar requires to establish that Section 43 of the Act does not apply to the applicant
    5. except as provided in Section 23, has completed the requirements of a continuing competence program
    6. currency of competency requirements.
  8. provide Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check/Criminal Record Check and International Criminal Record Check(s) if applicable

If you want to register but do not want a licence to practice nursing, you must meet all criteria except the completion of the Continuing Competence Program.

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