Nursing Re-Entry and Competence Assessment

Competency assessments and bridging education are regulatory options for nurses who require additional training, supports and assessments before they are licensed and able to enter or re-enter the workforce in Nova Scotia. 

 If you are an LPN or RN, you may have the option to choose between nursing re-entry programs or competence assessments and bridging education if you:

  1. Previously held an LPN or RN nursing licence with the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN) but you do not meet our currency of practice requirement.
  2. Previously held a LPN or RN licence in another Canadian province or territory but you do not meet our currency of practice requirement
  3. Are an internationally educated nurse who does not meet our currency of practice and/or it has been determined that your nursing program did not provide you with the competencies to safely practice in Nova Scotia.
  4. Are required through the professional conduct process.

As of April 1, 2021, Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) will offer RN competence assessments. It is expected that LPN competence assessments will be offered starting in the fall of 2021.

The following steps will occur if you choose to complete the competence assessment:

  1. You will complete the Application to Complete Competence Assessment or Nursing Re-Entry Program and the Consent for Release of Information Form and send them to NSCN.
  2. NSCN will send your personal information to NCAS. Note: If you are an LPN, NSCN will maintain your application until competence assessments for LPNs begin in the fall of 2021. 
  3. NCAS will contact you about scheduling the competence assessment.
  4. NCAS will provide you and NSCN with a copy of the NCAS Performance Report after the competence assessment is complete. 
  5. NSCN will inform you if you are required to complete any bridging education.

NSCN may accept an LPN or RN competence assessment from another Canadian jurisdiction instead of the NCAS competence assessment.  

The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) currently offers the LPN Re-Entry Program.

The following steps will occur if you choose to complete this program:

  1. You will complete the Application to Complete Competence Assessment or Nursing Re-Entry Program and the Consent for Release of Information Form and send them to NSCN.
  2. NSCN will send your personal information to NSCC.
  3. You can contact NSCC to discuss enrolling in the re-entry program.  Their contact information is provided in your referral letter.
  4. NSCC will send us a letter once you have completed your nursing re-entry program. 
  5. NSCN will inform you of your next steps in the application process. 

The Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre (RN-PDC) currently offers the RN Re-Entry Program. The following steps will occur if you choose to complete this program:

  1. You will complete the Application to Complete Competence Assessment or Nursing Re-Entry Program and the Consent for Release of Information Form and send them to NSCN.
  2. NSCN will send your personal information to RN-PDC.
  3. You can contact RN-PDC to discuss enrolling in the re-entry program.  Their contact information is provided in your referral letter.
  4. RN-PDC will send us a letter once you have completed your nursing re-entry program.
  5. NSCN will inform you of your next steps in the application process.

To meet our licensure requirements, the Registration and Licensing Committee may review your NP application if you:

  1. Previously held a NP licence with us but you do not meet our currency of practice requirement. 
  2. Previously held a NP licence in another province or territory but you do not meet our currency of practice requirement. You must first apply to us before completing a competence assessment. 
  3. Are an internationally educated NP who does not meet the currency of practice and/or the program equivalence requirements. You must first apply to us before completing a competence assessment.
  4. Are required through the professional conduct process.

The Registration and Licensing Committee will conduct a review of your application and may require you to complete a competence assessment. The committee will explain the competence assessment process in writing following their decision.

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

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