LPN Conditional Licence Questions and Answers for Employers

If you are an employer who hires new graduates, the following questions and answers (Q&As) for employers outlines your expectations when employing a licensed practical nurse - conditional licence holder to work in your organization. 

Note: These Q&As are specific to the LPN - conditional licence application process. In previous years, a conditional licence was called a temporary licence. 

The following individuals may be issued a licensed practical nurse – conditional licence:

  1. Graduates from NS and other Canadian jurisdictions who have completed all nursing program requirements but have not passed the CPNRE Exam.
  2. Graduates from a nursing program outside of Canada who are deemed by the NSCN to be eligible to take the CPNRE examination.

A licensed practical nurse – conditional licence is issued for a period of four months.

Holders of a licensed practical nurse – conditional licence will have the following conditions and restrictions applied to their licence:

  1. Must work collaboratively or under the guidance or direction of a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, medical practitioner or any health care provider authorized to provide such consultation, guidance or direction.
  2. Must not assume the responsibilities of a care area (facility or unit) which would include making client assignments based on client acuity.
  3. Must not independently initiate a care directive.
  4. Must notify us of your CPNRE/REx-PN results if taken through another regulatory body.

An applicant must submit these documents to us:

  1. Application and fee
  2. Proof of legal name
  3. Canadian and International Criminal Record Checks, as applicable


  1. An applicant must pass the LPN Jurisprudence Examination 
  2. NSCN must receive confirmation that the applicant has completed a nursing program:
    1. For Nova Scotia graduates: we must receive confirmation from their school of nursing that the student has completed their program. The school of nursing will email the list of graduates to us as soon as it becomes available.
    2. For graduates of other Canadian nursing programs: they must ask their regulatory body to send this information to NSCN.
    3. for internationally educated nurses (IENS): we will notify them when they are eligible for a licensed practical nurse – conditional licence. 

They will receive confirmation from NSCN that their licence has been processed. You can check Search for a Nurse on our website. All licensed practical nurse – conditional licence holders’ names will appear on this list as soon as the conditional licence is processed.

Yes, in fact we encourage it. The key to getting a licensed practical nurse – conditional licence processed in a timely manner is submitting a completed application package to us in advance of their school submitting a confirmation of program completion.

Yes, a licensed practical nurse – conditional licence may be re-issued to individuals who apply and qualify for another four-month licensed practical nurse – conditional licence. However, the licence will not be re-issued twelve months beyond the holder’s date of program completion.

The licence also cannot be re-issued if the holder has failed the CPNRE.

No. The initial licensed practical nurse – conditional licence is invalid when it expires. Employment cannot resume until we re-issue the nurse a licensed practical nurse – conditional licence.

The nurse will be disqualified if more than twelve months have passed since they completed the requirements of their nursing program. For IENs, it is more than twelve months following eligibility to take the CPNRE Exam.

If approved, the four-month licensed practical nurse – conditional licence will be re-issued within five business days, although it is often sooner.

The licensed practical nurse – conditional licence will continue to be valid until it reaches its expiry date or the holder registers and licences as an LPN. They will be eligible to apply for an LPN - practising licence at any time but they must do so before their licensed practical nurse – conditional licence expires in order to continue practising without interruptions.

A Licensed Practical Nurse - Conditional Licence holder may use the following designations: 

  • Licensed Practical Nurse pending 
  • LPN pending 
  • L.P.N. pending 

Yes, they may administer all prescribed medication for which they have the individual competency to do so, within their scope of practice and/or your employer policy and procedures.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at registration@nscn.ca. We strive to respond to you as soon as possible. However, due to the high volumes of emails and complexity of inquiries, our response time may vary.