Nursing Re-Entry and Competence Assessment

Before being licensed in Nova Scotia, you may need to complete additional steps. Generally, these additional steps are required if you:

  • Are interested in re-entering the nursing profession in Nova Scotia 
  • Do not meet the currency of practice requirement
  • Are an internationally educated nurse whose nursing program is not equivalent to a Nova Scotia nursing program.

There are three types of applicants who may be required to enroll in the LPN Re-Entry Program or complete a Substantive Equivalent Competence Assessment (SECA) in order to meet our licensure requirements:

  1. If you previously held a LPN licence with us but you do not meet the currency of practice requirement, you must contact us at registration@nscn.ca for more information.
  2. If you previously held a LPN license in another province or territory but you do not meet the currency of practice requirement, you must first apply to us before completing SECA or enrolling in a re-entry program. 
  3. If you are an internationally educated nurse who does not meet the currency of practice and/or the program equivalence requirements, you must first apply to us before completing SECA or enrolling in a re-entry program. 

Information about the Substantive Equivalent Competence Assessment (SECA)

If you need to complete the SECA: 

  1. Contact us at registration@nscn.ca to seek permission to complete a SECA
  2. Once approved, we will copy you on an enrollment email to NSCC
  3. Contact the NSCC to schedule and pay for the SECA;
  4. Once you complete the SECA, we will receive your report for review
  5. We will review your report and send you a letter outlining next steps in the registration/licensure process
  6. If the SECA determines that you require remedial education, you will have one year from the determined date to complete the required education. A written request to extend this timeline by six months may be granted due to extenuating circumstances. There will be no further extensions.

A competence assessment from another Canadian jurisdiction may be accepted rather than completing the assessment in Nova Scotia.  You will be required to complete all remedial education required from the competence assessment.

If the educational gaps identified in the SECA are too extensive to fill through remedial education, you may be required to complete a LPN Re-Entry Program.

There are three types of applicants who may be required to enroll in the RN Bridging/Re-Entry Program or complete a competence assessment in order to meet our licensure requirements:

  1. You previously held an RN licence with us but you do not meet the currency of practice requirement
  2. You previously held a RN license in another province or territory but you do not meet the currency of practice requirement. You must first apply to us before completing an assessment or enrolling in a bridging or re-entry program.  
  3. You are an internationally educated nurse who does not meet the currency of practice and/or the program equivalence requirements. You must first apply to us before completing an assessment or enrolling in a bridging or re-entry program

Information about the RN Re-Entry Program and Competence Assessment

If you need to complete the RN re-entry program or the competence assessment facilitated by the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre (RN-PDC):   

  1. Re-Entry Program: Complete the Application for Permission to take RN-PDC Re-Entry Form and Consent for Release of Information Form and then mail or email to NSCN
  2. Competence Assessment: Complete the Application to Complete a Competence Assessment and the Consent for Release of Information Form and then mail or email to NSCN
  3. We will copy you on the email sending your information to RN-PDC. You can then contact them to discuss starting your program or scheduling your competence assessment
  4. RN-PDC will send us a letter once you have completed your nursing re-entry program or competence assessment

There are three types of applicants who may be required to complete a competence assessment through our Registration and Licensing Committee in order to meet our licensure requirements:

  1. You previously held a NP license with us but you do not meet the currency of practice requirement. 
  2. You previously held a NP license in another province or territory but you do not meet the currency of practice requirement. You must first apply to us before completing a competence assessment. 
  3. You 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.

If we identify that you require a competence assessment, you will receive an email to schedule a review with the Registration and Licensing Committee along with additional information about the review process. 

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