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NS New Graduate RN Licence

As a Nova Scotia graduate applying for a licence with us for the first time, we want to say a big welcome 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. And again, we’re just an email or phone call away if you need help.

This section is for you if you’re a nursing graduate of Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University or St. Francis Xavier University.

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 registration and licensure:

  1. Complete your 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. Submit the Verification from every jurisdiction where you have held OR currently hold a licence/ registration (nursing and other regulated professions).
  4. Pass the RN Jurisprudence Examination.
  5. Pass the NCLEX-RN® Exam.
  6. You will be notified by CRNNS through the New Applicant Portal when you are eligible to apply for registration and initial licence.
  7. 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 and International Criminal Record Check. The original hard copy may be returned to you upon request. A Canadian Vulnerable Sector Check and International Criminal Record Check is not required before taking the NCLEX-RN® Exam or Jurisprudence Exam.

Please be advised that registration requirements and fees are subject to change. It may take up to 5 business days to process your initial registration assessment application.

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 NewApplicant Portal is a secure online program that allows you to check the status of your application. Once we receive your Initial Registration Assessment Application, you will 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.

We do not notify you when documents expire.

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

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.

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 programs prepare graduates to work as generalist RNs. If you have completed a specialty program 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:
    • not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the practice of nursing
    • not currently under investigation by any registration or licensing authority
    • 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
    • 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
    • except as provided in Section 23, has completed the requirements of a continuing competence program
    • currency of competency requirement
  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 Continuing Competence Program.

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