There are many opportunities for nurses in Nova Scotia, which includes but not limited to the following:

Hospitals: Nova Scotia has different hospitals, including the IWK Health Centre, Nova Scotia Health Authority, and Cape Breton Regional Hospital. These hospitals recruit nurses in a number of specialties, such as intensive care, acute care, emergency, and mental health.

Long-term care facilities: There are also a lot of long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia, among which are nursing homes and retirement communities, that recruit nurses to care for residents.

Community health: Nurses may also work in community health facilities, such as community health centers, public health clinics,  and home health care services. These roles may typically require working with either individuals or families to provide health education, prevention, and other support services.

Education: Nova Scotia also have several universities and colleges that offer nursing educational programs. There may be opportunities for experienced nurses to work as instructors, clinical instructors, mentors, or preceptors.

Research: Nurses can also work in research facilities, such as universities, research institutions, and health care organizations. These positions may involve conducting research programs, analyzing data, and contributing to the development of improved nursing practices and policies.

Telehealth: With the advancement of technology, there may be opportunities for nurses to work in the telehealth space, providing care and support remotely through the application of relevant technology.

These are just but a few of the opportunities available for nursing professionals in Nova Scotia. 


The process of licensing was designed to fast-track the assessment of qualifications and to introduce efficiency in the registration process for foreign-educated nurses who wish to work in Nova Scotia. The process was open to all registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

To be eligible for this expedited process, internationally educated nurses (IENs) needed to meet certain requirement thresholds, such as having a sufficient nursing education that is comparable to Canadian standards, being proficient in English or French, and having a valid permit to work in Canada. The process involved an critical assessment of the nurse's education, training, and work experience, and an evaluation of their language proficiency.

The two regulatory bodies responsible for he expedited licensing process are The College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS). 


Over the coming weeks, The Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN) will begin the implementation of a new ‘first in Canada’ approach to registration and licensing that will establish a faster and predictable pathway process in Nova Scotia.

Registered nurses whose profile demonstrate good standing and good character and have been licensed in the Philippines, India, Nigeria, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand or a Canadian Province or Territory will be eligible for registration and licensure in Nova Scotia immediately with no extra requirements other than passing the required registration exam, if they have not done so previously.

The changes takes effect in:

March 29, 2023 for qualifying registered nurses holding current licensure in any Canadian province or territory; and

May 1, 2023, for qualifying registered nurses holding current licensure in Philippines, India, Nigeria, USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Nurses licensed in these countries will be able to apply directly to NSCN for RN licensure without applying to NNAS.    


All Nurses must have current licensure and must be in good standing with one of the designated jurisdictions listed above. What this means is that they must hold an equivalent practicing license anywhere, among the mentioned countries, or from a Canadian territory. 

Having good standing means the professional nurse is not the subject of any outstanding complaints with a health profession regulator; and there are no restrictions, conditions, or agreements on the licence or registration with the current regulator that would prevent licensing in Canada.


1. Complete an NSCN application.

2. Submit two different types of identification. This may be a combination of  a birth certificate, passport, nexus card, driver’s license, Canadian government-issued ID, citizenship card (Canadian or International), or others. Notarization of these identity documents is not required.

3. Make proper arrangements for Verification of Registration (VOR) from the current regulator to be submitted directly to NSCN. Though NSCN may be able to verify this online, we will advise applicants if we are unable to do this and you will be required to arrange for your current regulatory body to submit a VOR document directly to NSCN.

4. Submit a proof of English Language Proficiency:  To register and license with NSCN, all applicants are must provide evidence of English language proficiency (ELP).

Foreign educated nurses: Effective October 14, 2022, English language proficiency assessment will be conducted by NSCN, not NNAS. All internationally educated nurses must submit their proof of language proficiency directly to NSCN. 

The English language proficiency registration requirements can be fulfilled in the following ways:

1. Obtain the required score on any of the NSCN-approved English language proficiency tests (CELBAN or IELTS Academic). 

2. Submit a proof of completion of a nursing program in a jurisdiction that is listed on our English Language Proficiency Test Exemption List below, where the language of both the theoretical and clinical instruction was provided exclusively in English.

3. Submit any proof of completion of post-entry nursing (or non-nursing) education in a jurisdiction that appears on our English Language Proficiency Test Exemption List below. 

4. Submit a Confirmation of English Language Proficiency form directly from an employer(s) which must show that you have worked in a health care environment in the last 24 months in a jurisdiction that appears on our English Language Proficiency Test Exemption List and where the said services were provided in English.

5. Submit an Registration/Licensure Verification document showing you currently hold a valid licence to practice as a regulated healthcare professional in a jurisdiction that appears on our English Language Proficiency Test Exemption List below.

The current English Language Proficiency Test Exemption List includes only English language programs taught in the following countries/territories:


Antigua and Barbuda


The Bahamas




British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT)


Cayman Islands


Falkland Islands





Isle of Man




New Zealand

Republic of Ireland

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

St. Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

United Kingdom

United States of America

US Virgin Islands

Check HERE for more information on English Language Proficiency

5. All nurses from outside Canada, must undergo a criminal record check(s) (CRC) and the report should be forwarded directly to NSCN.

You may also need to additionally submit a Canadian criminal record check (CRC). A CRC provides information related to criminal offenses and helps to ensure that nursing professionals have the character and judgment to provide a safe nursing service. 

Note: If you already have a current LPN license to practice nursing with NSCN you will not be required to submit any report of criminal record check if you are applying for RN registration and licensure.

You must submit an original Canadian criminal record check if you’re seeking for:

•    Registration

•    Licence reactivation after a two-year time lapse 

•    Conditional registration and conditional category of licence

You may also be required to submit a criminal record check if you have indicated being charged with, have pleaded guilty to, are convicted of or are found to be guilty of any offence in or out of Canada that is inconsistent with proper professional behavior. 

*If you have worked as a nursing professional outside of Canada in the last two years, you must submit an international CRC from the last state/province/country where you worked. If nursing is regulated at the state level (e.g. USA, India) or provincial level, the CRC must be completed for that state or province. If nursing is regulated at the country level (e.g. Philippines), the CRC must be issued for the country level. 

All CRCs must be provided in English. Translations from a certified translator are also accepted and you are responsible for the cost translating the documents.

For questions and answers related with CRC, please see HERE

6. All applicants must successfully pass the NCLEX-RN (if they have not already done so), however, they may also be eligible to enter practice with conditional licence (CL) while still attempting the qualifying exam.

Fee: The fees for this licensing are still under review and more details will be published soon. 

Additional Information and Links

Nova Scotia College of Nursing

Cape Breton University nursing programs:

St. Francis Xavier University nursing programs

Action for Health, the government's strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia



Welcome to Immigrate With Ammy blog space. As an immigrant, I have a firsthand experience of the hurdles that people face when taking a decision about relocation and this blog is born out of a desire to provide support to such people. Here, you will find useful and updated information on travel, immigration, study abroad, and job recruitment in countries such as Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Portugal, and others. I have a lot of video resources on my YouTube channel (Immigrate With Ammy) and you can also join my Twitter community by following me on @AmmyWith and on Facebook by following Immigrate With Ammy.

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