International Nurses Currently Registered and Licensed in the Philippines, India, Nigeria, Australia, US, UK or New Zealand

This webpage is for you if you’re an international nurse who is:

  • Registered and hold a current licence in good standing that entitles you to practice as a registered nurse in the Philippines, India, Nigeria, Australia, US, UK or New Zealand and;
  • NOT registered or licensed in Canada
  • You are not eligible for this pathway if your licence has expired in one of these seven countries and you are unable to re-establish it.
Please note: The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) recently made changes to their policy regarding Verification of Registration (VOR), which may impact nurses applying to our Expedited Licensure Process. Please reach out directly to NMCN to see how this change may impact you.

Before You Begin Your Application

Before you begin the application process, on behalf of our provincial partners, you are invited to participate in a survey to help match you to comprehensive immigration, settlement, and employment supports in Nova Scotia that are tailored to your specific needs.

The survey is managed by Nova Scotia’s International Community of Health Workers Engagement (NICHE) program at Nova Scotia Health and is intended to collect information about the type of support you may need

Your information will remain confidential and used by provincial partners to inform a personalized support plan for you.

NSCN is providing you with this information on behalf of NICHE. Please contact the NICHE team at niche@nshealth.ca with any questions or if you require any assistance with the survey.

Click this link to start the survey: Nova Scotia's New Application Pathway for Nurses from Seven Countries.

Once you complete the survey, you can begin the NSCN application process.

Applicant Portal Information & Sign Up 

Applications are submitted through NSCN’s Registrant Portal. You can start by creating an account in the Registrant Portal if you have not already done so. Click the following link and select ‘Sign Up’ to create an account. You must use your current email address, then you will be given instructions on how to create a password that is unique to you.

What to Expect on the Application

  1. When the application process opens, you will log in to your profile on our portal and select the application type called: RN Applicants (Expedited Countries).
  2. Submit two pieces of identification showing your legal name. If your name has changed, you may be required to submit a name change document such as a marriage certificate. Notarization of these documents is not required. Identification options include: a birth certificate, passport, nexus card, driver’s license, Canadian government-issued ID, citizenship card (Canadian or International), etc.
  3. We will need to determine that you hold a current licence that entitles you to practice as an RN in one of the seven identified countries and that your licence there is in good standing. There are two ways in which we can do this:
    1. By reviewing a  Verification of Registration form that was sent directly to us from your regulatory bodyNote: if you arranged for a verification form to be sent to the NNAS, you can either “port” your NNAS Advisory Report to NSCN or contact NNAS and ask if they will forward a certified true copy of this document to NSCN
    2. We can check the online search tool available on the website for the regulatory body. Currently, of the seven countries identified for this expedited pathway that also have all of the information to determine your licence is in good standing are: the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand .
  4. Pay the application fee. You must pay the fee in order for NSCN to make a licensing decision.
  5. If you were educated in the UK or Australia, please contact your employer or school of nursing to provide the below required information. We recommend that you submit this information as soon as possible to avoid delays in the processing of your application.
    1. Documents from your school of nursing to confirm your theory and clinical instruction in medicine, surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health and community health nursing, or
    2. Documents from your employer to confirm your nursing experience in medicine, surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health and community health nursing
  6. If you have completed a competence assessment through another regulatory body in Canada, please arrange for NSCN to receive a copy of the report. We will consider the results of the competence assessment report alongside your other application information when making our registration decision.

You will also be required to submit an original copy of the required Criminal Record Check(s) (CRC). For more information about this requirement, please visit here

*Please note: NSCN is not affiliated with any international nurse recruitment agency or people offering expedited licensing for an additional fee. Nova Scotia Health (NSH) is also not working with any international nurse recruitment agency or people offering expedited licensing or employment pathway into NSH for an additional fee. Please know that you are working directly with NSCN or NSH and there are no charges or fees to be paid to any external agencies or person.

Our registration team will review your application documents to make sure we have all the information we need. If something is missing, we will let you know so you can provide it. Incomplete applications will cause delays in processing. Your application will be processed, and our team will be in touch once all documents have been received.

I am an RN who was also educated as a nurse practitioner. Are there any additional requirements for NP licensure?

To be eligible for NP registration and licensure in Nova Scotia, you must:

  1. First become registered and licensed as an RN. Please email registration@nscn.ca if you wish to apply as an NP.
  2. Submit your application through NSCN’s Registrant Portal. Use the username and password you created for your RN application to submit an NP application and pay the assessment fee.
  3. Submit official confirmation from a nursing program that you successfully completed an NSCN-approved Controlled Drugs and Substances course.
  4. Arrange for NSCN to receive the following from your NP school of nursing:
    1. Transcripts
    2. Course descriptions
    3. Description of the program of study (this must be in greater detail than the program calendar)
    4. Course objectives/outcomes
    5. NP competencies to be achieved within the program course content
    6. Course hours (theory/lab/clinical)
    7. Number of supervised clinical hours
    8. Methods of evaluation

The above documentation is forwarded to a psychometrician who will determine if your NP program taught you the competencies to safely provide NP services in Nova Scotia. This is done by comparing your NP program with our required NP entry-level competencies and the course information from the NS NP program.  The cost of this evaluation is approximately $650, however, the cost can fluctuate if more information and time is required by the assessors. You are responsible for the cost of this evaluation.

Starting the Application

When you are ready to apply, click here.

NSCN is expecting a high volume of applications through the registrant portal. You may experience some delays in submitting your application during peak times. We have a plan to manage the increase in submissions, however, it may take us longer than usual to process applications. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Next Steps For When Your Application Has Been Approved

We have developed an infographic to help you decide your next steps while you are waiting for a job offer or an immigration pathway. The goal of the infographic is to outline some options to help you decide when you want to receive your conditional licence and take the registration exam once your application has been approved for next steps.

 The four options include:

  1. Get a conditional licence now and take the registration exam* now.
  2. Get a conditional licence now. Take the registration exam at a later date.
  3. Take the registration exam now. Get a conditional licence at a later date.
  4. Do nothing right now. Get a conditional licence and take the registration exam at a later date.

*The RN exam is the NCLEX-RN and the LPN exam is the CPNRE.

Some other things for you to also consider:

  • You need a job offer from an employer in Nova Scotia or Canada to be eligible to immigrate to Canada.
  • You are eligible for a conditional licence now. The conditional licence is not active, until you log into the Applicant Portal and pay the fee to activate it.
  • Your conditional licence expires four months from the day you activate it.
  • You do not need to activate your conditional licence to write the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • Unless it is required for immigration purposes, you do not have to activate your conditional licence until you arrive in Canada. Please note: Processes may vary, so please verify this with your local immigration officials.

You can read more detailed information in our Q&A resources here:

Exam Information

  • For LPN applicants, you must pass the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam
  • For RN applicants, you must pass the NCLEX-RN® Exam, if you have not already done so. If you have already passed this exam, you will not be required to retake it.
  • Once your application has been processed, we will give you more information about these exams, if applicable.

Jurisprudence Information

Before you begin practice as a nurse in Nova Scotia, please review the Jurisprudence Information for your designation.

Expiry of your application

All Canadian documents (statement from employer, licensure verifications) expire six months from the date they are completed. All international documents expire 24 months after they were completed with the exception of the English Language Proficiency Test, which expires 24 months from the date of the test.

If your application documents are more than 24 months old and you have not been in contact with us for 12 months, your application will expire and be closed. If you change your mind and wish to re-apply after your file has been closed, you will be required to re-apply to us, and you may be required to re-pay the assessment fee. Note: your application will be measured against the regulatory requirements at that time.

More Information 

Read our frequently asked questions for more information on the application process, registration and licensure requirements, entrance exam information, and more.

Please be advised that registration requirements and fees are subject to change. All application as well as registration and licensure fees are non-refundable. Click here to learn more about fees and payment options