NP Conditional Licence Questions and Answers for Employers

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

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:

  1. graduates from NS and other Canadian jurisdictions who have completed all NP program requirements but have either not taken the applicable NP examination 
  2. graduates from a nursing program outside of Canada who are deemed by the NSCN to be eligible to either take the application NP examination

They must submit the following four components before being issued a nurse practitioner – conditional licence:

  1. Nurse Practitioner – Conditional Licence Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Passing score on the RN and NP Jurisprudence Exam
  4. Confirmation that they have completed a program: 
    1. For graduates of Nova Scotia NP program, the school will send confirmation directly to NSCN. 
    2. For out-of-province NP graduates, they need to request that the regulatory body in the jurisdiction where they completed their program sent this information directly to NSCN. 
    3. For internationally educated nurses, NSCN will inform them when they are eligible for a conditional licence.

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

You will be able to find the NP on the Search for a Nurse. All nurse practitioner – conditional licence holders’ names will appear on this list as soon as the conditional licence is processed.

A nurse practitioner - conditional licence is issued for a period of four months.

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 the nurse has completed the requirements of their 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 the NP met all requirements of their program.
  • For internationally educated nurses:  from the date they were informed of their 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).

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.

The NP will be disqualified if more than 12 months have passed since they completed the requirements of their NP program. For IENs, they are disqualified if more than 12 months has passed since they were notified of their eligibility to take the exam. Additionally if they failed the NP exam, they 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 they register and licence as an NP. They are eligible to apply for a practising licence at any time but they must do so before their nurse practitioner – conditional licence expires in order to continue practising without interruptions.

If the NP fails their first attempt of the NP Exam, they must stop working immediately. They must contact their employer to let them know that their nurse practitioner – conditional licence is no longer valid.

Prior to your staff member taking the NP exam for the first time you should work with them to develop a contingency plan for their clients in case they do not pass the exam. 

A Nurse Practitioner – Conditional Licence holder may use the following designations: 

  • Nurse Practitioner pending 
  • NP pending 
  • N.P. pending 

If you have any questions, reach out to us at registration@nscn.ca. We will respond within 5 business days.