Steps to Becoming an NP in New Brunswick

Get your Graduate Degree in New Brunswick
Take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination
Apply for your Registration in New Brunswick
Renew your Registration with NANB in New Brunswick

The Nurses Association of New Brunswick (NANB) (phone: 506-458-8731, lclement@nanb.nb.ca) oversees the regulation and registration of advanced practice Primary Healthcare Nurse Practitioners (NP).

New Brunswick Statistics

  • 2011 average salary for general practitioners/family physicians in New Brunswick: $132,320
  • December 2009, legislation allows NPs to refer patients to specialists without consulting physician co-signature
  • Economic Action Plan 2011 provides student loan forgiveness to RNs and NPs in rural communities starting 2013
  • May 2012, New Brunswick Nurses Union endorses new pension model to protect retirement benefits

To date, only primary healthcare NPs are eligible for registration by the Nurses Association of New Brunswick.

To work toward NP registration in New Brunswick, you must first hold an RN license in the province:

  • If you have successfully completed a nursing program from an approved school of nursing and have been recommended by the school’s Director of Nursing, you may apply for the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination.
  • Complete the Application for Registration form if you are a graduate of a nursing school in another Canadian province or territory, and can either provide evidence of at least 1,125 hours of practice in the previous 5 years, or have graduated within the last 5 years.
  • If you completed your education in another country and your education meets the standards set by the NANB, you must provide proof of English and/or French fluency, provide proof of competence and complete the Internationally Educated Nurse Application for Registration.


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

Becoming a nurse practitioner will require you to complete a nurse practitioner program in primary healthcare to gain advanced knowledge and clinical expertise in assessment, diagnosis, and healthcare management. As a primary healthcare nurse practitioner you will function as a generalist and provide comprehensive and continuous care to patients across the health continuum and throughout their lifespan.

The minimum educational requirement for an NP in New Brunswick is a master’s degree that has a thorough grounding in the theoretical foundation of nursing. The standard curriculum for an NP program must provide learning experiences across the lifespan in the areas of health and health promotion, nursing practice and nursing research, education, health service delivery, and society.

The program must include at least 700 hours of relevant clinical practice that must cover the treatment of diseases, the ordering of tests, and the prescribing of medications. Graduate core courses must include research, theoretical foundations of nurse practitioner, and statistics.

NP program courses must include:

  • Advanced Health and Physical Assessment across the lifespan
  • Advanced Pharmacology across the lifespan
  • Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention across the lifespan
  • Community-Based Practice
  • Professional Role Development
  • Clinical Decision Making
  • Clinical Practicum

There are current 17 approved NP programs in New Brunswick.

Schedules for Ordering

The Nurse Practitioner Schedules for Ordering outlines the screening and diagnostic tests that may be ordered and the drugs that may be prescribed by the NP. All schedules for ordering are recommended by the NP Therapeutics Committee (NPTC) and approved by the NANB Board of Directors and the Minister of Health.

As an NP, you may order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests and select, prescribe, and monitor the effectiveness of drugs.

After registering with the NANB you will receive a prescriber number from the Practitioner Registrar at Medicare.


Step 2. Take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination

Upon completion of your nurse practitioner graduate education, you must then take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination to be eligible for registration in New Brunswick.

As of January 1, 2007, all applicants for NP registration in primary healthcare who have not established registration as an NP in another Canadian jurisdiction must pass the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Exam (CNPE). The examination fee for the CNPE is $1,448.66.

The Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination covers Family/All Ages (CNPE:F/AA) through the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and its examination company, Assessment Strategies Inc., is a national, entry-level exam used for NPs who specialize in family/all ages/primary health care. The CNPE:F/AA Exam is used in all jurisdictions except British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec and is offered twice a year (you can check the CNA website for test dates).

Before you can take the CNPE:F/AA exam, you must secure authority from the NANB to take the exam by the. The exam consists of 190 to 200 multiple-choice questions and can be taken over a four-hour period. There are 42 competencies that comprise the exam’s content. You may purchase a prep guide from the CNA bookstore by calling 1-800-385-5881 for this exam.

The 42 competencies of the CNPE:F/AA exam are part of the four categories of the framework of the primary healthcare nurse practitioner, which include:

  • Professional Role, Responsibility and Accountability
  • Health Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Therapeutic Management
  • Health Promotion and Prevention of Illness and Injury

All applicants must contact the NANB for an application form for the CNPE:F/AA exam. Upon completion of the examination, the NANB will inform you of the results of your examination within 4 to 8 weeks.


Step 3. Apply for Registration with NANB

Upon the successful completion of the Canadian Nurse Practitioners Exam, you are then eligible for registration with NANB as an NP. The NANB will provide you with directions on how to apply for initial registration when you receive the results of your examination.

Registration for both RNs and NPs are renewed on an annual basis, and registration certificates expire on December 31st.  Because of the annual renewal, the fees for initial registration are pro-rated depending on the date you apply:

  • From January 1 – December 31: $445.16
  • From July 1 – December 31: $267.10
  • From October 1 – December 31: $133.55

Before you can become registered with the NANB, you must provide the NANB Registrar with your consulting physician requirements.

Consulting Physician Requirements

Under the Nurses Act, as an NP you must have “reasonable access” to a physician for consultation, referral, or transfer. This allows you to initiate a consultation with the physician via a formal request when the diagnosis or plan of care is beyond your NP scope. The consultation may be face to face, by telephone and/or in writing.

You must complete the Nurse Practitioner Consultation and Referral Statement and forwarded it to the consulting employer/physician.

You must provide the NANB Registrar, on an annual basis, with evidence that you have reasonable access to a physician for consultation, referral, or transfer. You must also notify the NANB Registrar immediately if circumstances regarding your employment change.

Graduate Nurse Practitioner

If you are awaiting the results of your Canadian Nurse Practitioner Registration Exam, you may practice as a graduate nurse practitioner. However, you may not order screening and diagnostic tests or prescribe drugs without first having a physician or registered NP review and co-sign the order or prescription.


Step 4. Renewing Your Registration

Registration for both RNs and NPs are renewed annually online through the Registration Renewal portal. Registration certificates expire on December 31st.  You can renew your registration anytime between October 1 and December 30th. The fee for annual renewal is $445.16.

In order to maintain and renew your NP registration, you must show evidence that you have worked at least 600 hours as an NP in primary healthcare during the previous 2 calendar years, and you must also meet continuing competency requirements. In addition, you must provide the NANB Registrar with your employer’s name and the name of your consulting physician by submitting the Nurse Practitioner Consultation and Referral Statement form.

Non-Practicing Membership

If you do not meet the requirements for renewal in New Brunswick or you are no longer practicing as an NP in the province, you may apply for a non-practicing membership. You must apply for a non-practicing membership through the Registration Renewal portal and, like a standard registration renewal, you must renew your non-practicing membership on an annual basis. The annual fee for a non-practicing membership is $45.20.

Returning to Work/Reinstatement

If you were previously registered in New Brunswick and would like to reinstate your NP registration, you must complete the following steps:

  • Provide the NANB with Verification of Registration (must be sent directly from the nursing regulatory body in the jurisdiction where you have been working)
  • Provide the NANB with Confirmation of Hours of Practice Form (must be sent directly from your previous employer(s) where you have been working for the past 5 years)
  • Pay the registration fee of $445.16, plus a lapsed registration fee of $56.50.

Advance Practice Nursing Associations in New Brunswick

There are a number of professional organizations that support advanced practice nursing in New Brunswick:


New Brunswick Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Statistics Canada, as of 2010, the average hourly wage among nurse practitioners in the Fredericton area of New Brunswick was $31.31, which was an average of $65,124 annually. Practitioners in the 90th percentile earned significantly more, with an average of $85,280 per year, $20,156 more than the overall average in New Brunswick.

Occupational Classification
Number of Professionals
Average Income
Nurse Supervisors and RNs
5205
$55936
Registered Nurses
5080
$55954
General Practitioners and Family Physicians
435
$132320

Employment and salary data included in these tables was produced by Census Canada in 2006 and originally published by Statistics Canada in 2008. To provide comprehensive information for comparative purposes, the data includes all Statistics Canada Occupational Classifications in which advanced practice nurses were identified.

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