News release

New Nursing Act Introduced

Legislation introduced today, March 15, will create the new Nova Scotia College of Nursing - a single regulatory body for the nursing profession in the province.

Nursing is a self-regulated profession. Right now, there are two regulatory bodies – The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia and The College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia. The new act will see the two merge, a request from the profession itself.

“Nurses provide essential and expert care in hospitals, family practices and communities across the province,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “A single College of Nursing will continue to regulate the profession and protect public interest, while being nimble to meet evolving health care needs.”

The Nursing Act will bring together registered nurses, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses.

“The new Nursing Act is an innovative approach to nursing regulation in our province,” said Sue Smith, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia transition executive director and College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia CEO. “It enables nurses to work to their optimal scopes of practice, helps reduce red tape, and epitomizes the kind of collaboration among health professionals that is necessary for Nova Scotians, and the future of health care in this province.”

The new Nursing Act will:

  • maintain existing nursing designations, scopes of practice, and entry-to-practice requirements
  • enable the college to expand scopes of practice for individual licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, with additional education within the overall scope of nursing
  • remove the requirement for nurse practitioners to establish a formal relationship with a physician before they can practice
  • allow the regulator more flexibility to grant temporary and conditional licenses
  • expand the power to impose fines as a disciplinary measure to include professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming
  • enhance the requirement for the College to be more accountable and transparent to government, the public and nurses

More than 4,000 stakeholders provided feedback throughout the development of the Nursing Act.

There are approximately 15,000 nurses licensed to practice in Nova Scotia.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Government introduced legislation today (March 15th) to create a single regulatory body for the nursing profession in the province.

The Nursing Act will establish the new Nova Scotia College of Nursing, combining The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia and The College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia, a request from the profession itself.

Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey says a single College will continue to regulate the profession and protect public interest, while being nimble to meet evolving health care needs.

More than 4,000 stakeholders provided feedback throughout the development of the Nursing Act.

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Media Contact:

Tracy Barron
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