New Grad Educated in Another Province: Not Licensed Anywhere in Canada

If you are already licensed in Canada as a new grad, this is the wrong page. Please click here

Welcome to Nova Scotia. As a new graduate, you can choose between two licensing options:

  1. If you want to be eligible to begin work right away while you prepare to take your registration exam, apply for a conditional licence.
  2. If you don’t want to work right away and prefer to pass your exam before entering practice, you can wait until you have your results and apply for a practising licence.

Please note: You must hold either a conditional or practising licence to work as a nurse in Nova Scotia. This include orientation even if there is no clinical component.  

Are you a new grad looking for more information on transitioning to professional practice in Nova Scotia?

Check out our New Grad Online Resource.

Before you begin, it’s important to know:

  • We are available to help if you have any questions. Reach out to us at and we will respond as soon as we can.
  • All application documents must be provided in English. Translations from a certified translator are also accepted. You are responsible for the cost of all translations.
  • All documents received through the application process are the property of NSCN and can only be released to another regulatory body with your written permission. Documents will not be released to you or to any third party unless required by law.

Are you a new grad looking for more information on transitioning to professional practice in Nova Scotia?

How to Apply for Registration and Licensure:

Please submit the following to NSCN:

  1. Application for a Licence 

Note: NP Applicants are required to hold a current RN licence with NSCN

  1. Application fee 
  2. Photocopy of two proof of name documents such as:
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Nexus Card
  • Canadian Military ID
  • Driver’s licence or learners permit
  • Canadian government-issued ID card (federal/provincial/ territorial)
  • Permanent resident (PR) card
  • Citizenship card (Canadian or international)
  • Immigration card (Canadian or international)

Note: if your name has changed, NSCN may require proof of name change documents (e.g., marriage certificate). You must submit these documents to us directly either through the mail or email. We will not accept unclear and/or faxed copies.

  1. Original criminal record check, unless you are currently registered with NSCN in another designation.
  2. Confirmation of program completion:
    1. From the regulatory body (only for LPN and RN applicants): form
    2. From the school of nursing: 
      1. LPN or RN: form
      2. NP: form
  3. If you hold a nursing license in another designation anywhere but Nova Scotia, please let us know in your application. NSCN will complete an online Verification of Registration with the regulatory body as long as it is available. If there is disciplinary or conduct history found we will ask you to provide a Registration/Licensure Verification form from the regulatory body.
  4. Meet the English Language Proficiency Registration Requirement, if applicable.

We will not be able to proceed with your application until all of the documents have been submitted. 

What is “Registration Only”?

Obtaining “registration only” status means you have met all the registration requirements set out in section 18(1) of the Nursing Act (2019) and that you have been entered onto the register of the designation for which you have applied (LPN, RN or NP). “Registration only” is a non-licensed status where you do not hold a licence to practice nursing, and you are not legally entitled to provide nursing services or identify yourself as a nurse in Nova Scotia.

If you wish to obtain a licence that would entitle you to provide nursing services, you would be required to provide an application and required documents as well as meet our currency of practise requirement at the time of your application.

Why would I apply for “Registration Only”?

Some Canadian nursing regulatory bodies require that an individual be registered in the province where they completed their nursing education. If you do not plan to practice in Nova Scotia, but the regulatory body where you are going requires you to be registered in Nova Scotia, you may wish to apply for “registration only”.

Once we receive all of your application documents, it will take up to five business days to process your application. You will be notified when your application is approved.

Pass the applicable registration exam:

We encourage you to review the jurisprudence information for your specific designation available here.

Expiry of your application

All documents expire six months from the date they were completed with the exception of the English Language Proficiency Test, which expires 24 months from the date of the test.

Your application will expire and be closed if your application documents are more than six months old and you have not been in contact with us for six months. 

If you change your mind and wish to become licensed after your file has been closed, you will be required to re-apply and meet the regulatory requirements in place at the time of your reapplication, including paying the appropriate fees. 


If you have any questions, please reach out to us at 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.  

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