New Grad Educated in Nova Scotia

As a Nova Scotia graduate, welcome to the nursing profession in Nova Scotia.  You will be eligible to practise as an LPN, RN or NP once you have applied and met all registration and licensure requirements. 

This webpage is for you if you graduated from a practical nurse, baccalaureate or NP program in Nova Scotia. 

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

Check out our New Grad Online Resource on the right of this page.

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 within five business days. 
  • 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.

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 license.
  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 you pass the exam and apply for a practicing license.

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? 

How to Apply for Registration and Licensure

How to Apply for Registration and Licensure

Please submit the following documents and fees to apply:

  1. Application for a Licence 

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

  1. 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, we 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 or faxed copies.

  1. 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.
  2. Original criminal record check, unless you are currently registered with NSCN in another designation.

Additional Requirement:  We cannot process your application until we receive official confirmation directly from your school of nursing that you have all the met the requirements of your nursing program and are eligible to graduate.

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”.

What happens once I submit my documents?

Once we receive all of your application documents, it may take up to five business days to process your application. You will receive an email when your application is approved. The email will also have information about how to pay for registration and licensure. Click here for information about your licensure fees

What else do I need to do to become registered and licensed?

  1. Pass the applicable registration exam:
    1. LPN: Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam
    2. RN: NCLEX-RN® Exam
    3. NP: the applicable NP exam for the client population you studied in your NP program

Can I work while I wait to complete this process?

You will need to hold a licence with us before you start any employment, including orientation. While you are preparing for the registration exam, you may be eligible for conditional licence. For more information about this form of licensure, click here.

What else might I need to know to provide safe, ethical and competent nursing services in Nova Scotia?

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

Expiry of your Application

All Canadian application documents expire six months from the date they were completed, with the exception of your program completion from the school of nursing.

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