Registered Nurse - East Coast Forensic Hospital - Mental Health & Addictions

Nova Scotia Health Authority is the largest provider of health services in Nova Scotia. We are over 22,000 employees who provide health care and support services in hospitals, health centres and community-based programs throughout Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia Health Authority provides health services to Nova Scotians and some specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. We operate hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers that provide the health care or services you may need. This is accomplished across four geographic management zones which are responsible for the operation of acute care health centres and the provision of a variety of inpatient, outpatient services including academic, tertiary, quaternary care and community based programs and services including continuing care, primary health care, public health, and mental health and addictions.


Job Information

We have an immediate need for Registered Nurses for East Coast Forensic Hospital at Central Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority.  Units include: Mentally Ill Offender Unit, Rehabilitation Unit, and Offender Health Services.  This is a pooling posting, your application will be paired with an existing vacancy. To view all of our current vacancies, please go to


Please Note: Recruitment incentives and relocation may be offered to the successful candidates based on qualifying criteria.


The Staff Nurse will work under the direction of the Health Services Manager or delegate and be responsible for providing a standard of nursing care that meets professional practice standards.  The Staff Nurse will collaborate with other disciplines while providing comprehensive nursing care that includes assessment, nursing diagnosis, care planning, evaluation and health teaching. All care is based on Quality Principles.


The East Coast Forensic Hospital is located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It is a 92-bed psychiatric hospital which is co-located with the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. While administratively separate entities, services and some spaces are shared between the two facilities. The hospital administration has oversight to five main components of care: a 24-bed mentally ill offender unit, two 30-bed rehabilitation units, an 8 bed transition program, community program and an offender health care program which provides primary mental and physical health care to incarcerated adult offenders located in four correctional centres across the province. This unique mix of programs and services provides a variety of exciting clinical care positions for RNs.

Description of Units

The East Coast Forensic Hospital is comprised of the following units:

Mentally Ill Offender Unit:

This 24-bed unit is unique in that it was dually designated as both a hospital and a correctional facility. In this unit, court ordered assessments for fitness to stand trial and criminal responsibility take place. There are also inpatient beds available for incarcerated adults who require inpatient mental health care. Individuals may also be remanded by the courts to this unit to have dangerous offender or long-term offender assessments completed.  

Rehabilitation Units:

Two identical 30-bed units provide a recovery based model of care to those individuals who have been found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible. Psychosocial rehabilitation is tailored to meet the needs of individuals in a forensic setting.

Bungalow Program:

Two bungalows located on hospital property and one bed inside the hospital in a Daily Living Suite have a combined bed capacity for 8 individuals. Those who participate in this program use it as a stepping stone to the community and are able to work on skills of independent living and community re-integration as they prepare for discharge.

Community Program:

Services are provided in the community to support individuals who have been given a conditional discharge by the Criminal Code Review Board (CCRB). Individuals are followed in their home communities in a variety of living situations and are linked to local mental health and addiction services and supports until they receive an Absolute Discharge by the CCRB. At any one time there are usually between 35-45 clients in the program.

Offender Health Services:

Primary physical and mental health care is provided to persons incarcerated in four different adult correctional centres in the province – Cape Breton Correctional Centre, Central Nova Scotia Correctional Centre, Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, Yarmouth Correctional Facility. Service offerings are varied in the different sites and inmates may be transferred between sites to locations that best meet their health needs.




  • Graduate of an approved School of Nursing
  •  Bachelor degree is preferred
  • Current registration with CRNNS
  •  Basic Life support
  • Psychiatric nursing experience an asset
  •  Previous medical nursing experience an asset
  • Previous Corrections experience an asset
  • Competencies in other languages an asset, French preferred
  • Successful external applicants are required to provide a criminal record check (including Vulnerable Sector Search) to People Services before starting employment and assume any associated costs as a condition of employment.
  • The successful candidate must pass the appropriate background checks.


PLEASE NOTE: Applicants relying on education and experience equivalencies must demonstrate such equivalencies in their application. Candidates will not be considered for an interview if applications are incomplete or missing information.


Hours of Work


* Permanent full-time and part-time vacancies are available in addition to assignments and casual relief

* Time of shifts will vary depending on unit


Salary Information

Registered Nurse:
$34.1762  - $40.3968 hourly
($41.8107 hourly with 25 years RN experience)


Thank you for your interest in this position. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Typically interviews are held within three to four weeks of the closing date.

Successful external applicants will be required to submit the below documents and assume any associated costs as a condition of employment. Additional documentations such as banking & proof of identity will be included in your offer letter.

  • Criminal Record Check 
  • Proof of education & training certifications
  • Proof of any additional required qualification 
  • Valid registration with the relevant licensing body
  • Submission of immunization record along with health assessment documentation 
  • Proof of SIN number

Hiring Process will depend on timeliness of delivering the above.

This is a Nursing NSGEU Nursing bargaining unit position. Preference is given to bargaining unit employees for unionized positions.

Nova Scotia Health Authority is proud to provide a smoke free and scent free environment.
Only online applications are accepted.

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is committed to being a workforce that is free of discrimination, values diversity and is representative, at all job levels, of the people we serve. Our priority groups are: Aboriginal People, African Nova Scotians, Persons with Disabilities and Recent Immigrants. Members of these groups are welcome to apply and self-identify if they wish to be considered under our Employment Equity policy.

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