If you are a new graduate or internationally educated nurse who wishes to apply for a conditional licence, the following questions and answers (Q&As) will help guide you through the process.
Note: These Q&As are specific to the NP conditional licence application process. In previous years, a conditional licence was called a temporary licence.
The following individuals may be issued a nurse practitioner – conditional licence:
- graduates from NS and other Canadian jurisdictions who have completed all NP program requirements but have either not taken the applicable NP examination
- graduates from a nursing program outside of Canada who are deemed by the NSCN to be eligible to either take the application NP examination
You must submit the following four components before being issued an nurse practitioner – conditional licence:
- Nurse Practitioner – Conditional Licence Application
- Application fee
- Passing score on the RN and NP Jurisprudence Exam
- Confirmation that you have completed a program:
- For graduates of Nova Scotia NP program, your school will send confirmation directly to NSCN.
- For out-of-province NP graduates, you need to request that the regulatory body in the jurisdiction where you completed your program sent this information directly to NSCN.
- For internationally educated nurses, NSCN will inform you when you are eligible for a conditional licence.
We will send you an email when we have processed your licence. You can also Search for a Nurse. All nurse practitioner – 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 nurse practitioner – conditional licence processed in a timely manner is to submit a completed application package to us in advance of your school submitting a confirmation of program completion.
A nurse practitioner – conditional licence is issued for a period of four months and is issued without any conditions and restrictions.
Yes, a nurse practitioner – conditional licence may be re-issued to individuals who apply and qualify for another four-month nurse practitioner – conditional licence to a maximum of 12 months from the date that you complete the requirements of your NP program.
The “date a graduate completes the requirements of their nursing program” is defined as:
- For Nova Scotia graduates: from the date we receive the list of confirmed graduates from Dalhousie University
- For out-of-province graduates: from the date the regulatory body or school of nursing indicates you met all requirements of your NP program.
- For internationally educated nurses: from the date you were informed of your eligibility to write the NP Exam by NSCN.
A nurse practitioner – conditional licence will not be issued after first failure of the NP Exam, with the exception of extenuating circumstances (see below for more information).
You may have a nurse practitioner – conditional licence re-issued to you until the earliest of the following:
- First failure of the NP exam or
- 12 months have passed since you completed the requirements of your NP program. For IENs, it is more than 12 months following eligibility to take the NP Exam.
No. The initial nurse practitioner – conditional licence is invalid when it expires. Employment cannot resume until we re-issue you a nurse practitioner – conditional licence.
You will be disqualified if more than 12 months have passed since you completed the requirements of your NP program. For IENs, you are disqualified if more than 12 months has passed since you were notified of your eligibility to take the exam. Additionally if you failed the NP exam, you are not eligible for a licence.
If approved, the four-month nurse practitioner – conditional licence will be re-issued five business days, although it is often sooner.
The nurse practitioner – conditional licence will continue to be valid until it reaches its expiry date or you register and licence as an NP. You are eligible to apply for an practising licence at any time but you must do so before your nurse practitioner – conditional licence expires in order to continue practising without interruptions.
Information on how to register and license will be included in the letter that you will receive once you have passed the NP Exam.
If you don’t pass the NP Exam on your first attempt, you must stop working immediately. You must contact your employer to let them know that your nurse practitioner – conditional licence is no longer valid.
Prior to taking the NP exam for the first time you should work with your employer to develop a contingency plan for your clients in case you do not pass the exam.
In extenuating circumstances, we may re-issue you a nurse practitioner – conditional licence after you fail the NP exam. Some examples of extenuating circumstances include:
- Extraordinary circumstances that you could not have predicted would occur or was unable to fully comprehend at the time of attempting the examination
- Medical or other unexpected incidents occurring during the course of the exam
- A condition, disorder or disability of which you were not aware of that required medication and/or other treatment
- Accommodation to allow you a fair chance to attempt the examination and demonstrate your knowledge, skill and judgement.
If you believe you qualify for extenuating circumstances, you can send a letter or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include evidence to justify your request.
As a Nurse Practitioner – Conditional Licence holder you may use the following designations:
- Nurse Practitioner pending
- NP pending
- N.P. pending