Building Culturally Responsive Care for Nova Scotians Survey FAQ

The Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN) is conducting a survey during the annual licence renewal period to learn more about diversity within the nursing profession. The information it collects will help NSCN better understand the role it can have in ensuring nurses are able to provide culturally responsive care. The survey will be open from August 2 to October 31, 2023.

This webpage provides answers to some questions you may have about the survey. If you have other questions, please reach out to us at

The purpose of this work is twofold. Firstly, NSCN is conducting this survey to ensure all nurses in Nova Scotia have the education and skills they need to provide safe, competent, ethical and compassionate nursing care. This includes culturally responsive care (see definition in the question below). Your participation will help to inform more culturally responsive resources so you have the confidence to deliver safe and culturally responsive care to the public.

Secondly, understanding the demographic makeup of Nova Scotia’s nursing registrants will help NSCN as we work with health system partners to explore ways to potentially address gaps in representation. We envision a nursing profession that is representative of the community it serves and barrier-free for members of equity-deserving groups.

Culturally responsive care means being able to understand cultural differences, recognize potential biases, and look beyond differences to provide nursing care for clients whose social and cultural contexts are different from one's own.

Your participation will inform appropriate and relevant next steps that NSCN can take to further its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Informing those next steps will be the focus of a report developed in collaboration with a local third party experienced in conducting equity evaluation work in Nova Scotia.

The survey will ask for demographic self-identification and about your perspectives on providing care to clients with social identities and backgrounds different from your own. Responses to each question are optional, and an opt-out response will be provided when applicable. The information will help NSCN better understand what guidance nurses may need to provide safer and more culturally responsive care to the public.

Self-identification is when a survey respondent discloses information about their identity by answering questions about their age, gender, race, language, and other elements of their identity. Self-identification can also be thought of as self-determination. This survey gives you the option to share who you are because every individual has the right to self-determination and the right to narrate their own story. Our goal is to create an environment and culture where diverse perspectives and populations are valued. Self-identification is a tool that can help us better inform our work to make that possible.

We all have multiple characteristics that contribute to who we are and influence our experiences as nurses. Self-identification provides NSCN with valuable information to explore ways to address gaps in representation.

In accordance with the Privacy Act, each institution must collect personal information directly from the individual and inform the individual of the specific purpose for collecting this information and how it will be used and disclosed. If you have been asked to self-identify by another organization and/or your workplace, your information would be used for the purpose specific to its collection and would not be shared with NSCN. Through this survey and with your consent, NSCN is inviting you to provide your self-identification data for our collection purpose.

The wording in the questions is based on research and analysis of current approaches to self-identification. We referred to standards developed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), accompanied by guidance from other institutions such as Statistics Canada. The terminology and approach to the questions seek to balance inclusion, respect for privacy and reportability.

For applicable questions, you can choose “Prefer not to answer”. You must select this option and save your responses for your survey to be marked as complete.

The privacy of your information is our utmost priority. Your responses will remain anonymous to ensure the security and confidentiality of your information. Self-identification statistics will be reported in aggregate form. If the number of individuals who selected a specific response option is fewer than five, the data will not be publicly reported.

To guarantee accurate and sound interpretation of data, we are involving a local third party with experience conducting equity evaluation and diversity, equity and inclusion work in Nova Scotia. This external organization is designing and administering the survey and analyzing the results.

Self-identification information specific to your nursing registration and licensure will not be accessible to, or shared
with, other external parties.

Participating in the survey or not will have no impact on your registration and licensure. The information is being collected in such a way that your responses are not tied to your profile.


If you have questions or want to chat with someone to learn more about this survey, reach us directly at