Important Information for Internationally Educated Nurses

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS) has the responsibility to review all documents related to the application for registration and licensure process.  This application is for an applicant who has completed a Practical Nursing Program or Nursing Equivalent Program outside of Canada and is establishing initial licensure in Nova Scotia.  This website is an online support for internationally educated nurses (IENs) interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in Nova Scotia.  CLPNNS is dedicated to the well-being of the public of Nova Scotia through the continued delivery of exceptional regulatory services that promotes safe, ethical and competent nursing services.

All documents received by CLPNNS through the application process are the property of CLPNNS and can only be released to another regulatory body with written permission from the applicant. Documents will not be released to the applicant or any third party unless required by law.

Note: Only official documents are accepted. Documents that are not provided in English require translation and must be translated by a certified translator then submitted directly to CLPNNS from the translator.  Effective August 2014, all documents from outside of Canada must be Certified True Copies.  Any costs associated with translation of documents are the responsibility of the applicant.  Official documents are defined as documents that have been sent in a sealed envelope directly by the issuing authority and have never been in the possession of anyone other than the institution that issued the documents.

Incomplete applications are retained for six months from the date of last contact.  Applicants seeking to resume the registration process are required to re- apply and repay the required fees.

Completed applications are retained for one year from the date the applicant is informed of eligibility for initial registration in Nova Scotia.  Applicants seeking to register after this period of time may be required to re-apply.

When the Executive Director/Registrar is satisfied that the applicant meets all of the criteria for licensure, the applicant is eligible for one of the following license:

  • Active Practising license;
  • Active Practising license with conditions or restrictions.

All licenses must be renewed annually.  The licensure year is from November 1st to October 31st.

Guide to Resources and Support Services for Internationally Educated Nurses in Nova Scotia

This guide will help you make an informed decision about your choice to live and work in Canada. It describes the processes you must complete to obtain your nursing license in Canada, and specifically, in our beautiful province of Nova Scotia. There are many organizations and agencies listed here that are committed to helping you every step of the way. This guide will help you to know when and where to look for help and support.

Click here to view the guide.

Self Assessment

The Self-Assessment Readiness Tool© is an online self-assessment that provides internationally educated health professionals with relevant information about whether they are likely to meet the requirements to practice their profession within Atlantic Canada. This process is confidential and measures one’s skill-set against Canadian employer-identified core skills and technical competencies; thus enabling potential applicants to make informed career decisions.  This self-assessment tool is designed to help Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) understand the Canadian licensed practical nursing profession. This tool is offered at no charge to the user and contact information is not shared with third parties. Answers are not recorded or evaluated by anyone other than the individual using the tool for their own self-assessment.

Self-Assessment Readiness Tool for Licensed Practical Nurses

Pathway to Success – Practical Nursing Education for Internationally Educated Nurses

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS) and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) have created the Pathway to Success for Internationally Educated Nurses.  CPLNNS, as the regulatory body for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Nova Scotia sets, monitors and enforces standards for education, practice and professional conduct for LPNs.  The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) provides practical nursing education in Nova Scotia and is approved by CLPNNS to deliver the practical nurse diploma program.  NSCC also assesses individuals referred by CLPNNS for any substantive equivalency competence assessment.

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia wants the path to licensure for IENs to be smooth and straightforward. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Nova Scotia Community College to deliver this unique training program.  Pathway for Success is a program made up of three unique courses.  Each course is designed to help IENs enhance their nursing education by focusing on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are expected of Licensed Practical Nurses in Canada.

Course 1 – Review of Practical Nursing Concepts and Competencies

During this self-paced course, participants review practical nursing concepts and competencies including: pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, and maternal child health nursing concepts.  Course length: 60 hours over 12 weeks, Delivery: Online.

Course 2 – Introduction to the LPN Scope of Practice in Nova Scotia

This four-day course helps IENs to better understand the roles and responsibilities of LPNs in Canada.  With a focus on critical thinking, the course material is presented through discussion, case studies, practice tests, and simulated questions.  Course length: 24 hours over 4 days, Delivery: In-person.

Course 3 – CPNRE Preparation

This six-hour course will help IENs as they prepare to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE).  Course length: 6 hours, Delivery: In-person.

IEN Pathway to Success Brochure

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