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International nurse registration


Due to the high demand for places in the Competency assessment Programmes, there is a current waiting time of over 12 months to get into most of these.


There may be instances where a person who has been informed they need to complete a Competency Assessment Programme, may not be able to gain entry into one within the timeframe / life of their application.


We strongly advise Internationally Qualified Nurses needing to complete a Competence Assessment Programme not to come to New Zealand until they have a confirmed placement.


Educational Standards

From 1 March 2012 Education Standards will change. All applications received after 1 March 2012 will be assessed against the criteria below and the new criterion 3 which aligns with New Zealand Education Programme Standards for the registered nurse scope of practice. Please click here for new advised criterion 3.


Please click here for the New Zealand Education Programme Standards.


Internationally qualified nurses applying for registration in New Zealand

When a nurse who is registered with an overseas authority applies to the Council for registration in New Zealand, each application is assessed on an individual basis. The Council operates a system of reciprocal registration with Australia.


Registration Requirements

All internationally qualified nurses applying for registration in New Zealand must meet the criteria. Please click here for a copy of the criteria.


Applicants for registration are required to provide evidence that they:

  • have an international nursing qualification equivalent to that prescribed in New Zealand
  • are competent to practise within their scope of practice
  • are fit for registration, which includes the ability to communicate effectively in English for the purpose of practising nursing.


International applicants from all countries (except Australia) are required to sit an English Language assessment before submitting an application.


The assessment can be either the International English Language Testing (IELTS) Academic Test, or the Occupational English Test (OET).

Please click here for a copy of the application form or the guide. You will need to have installed Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to be able to do this. 

Applications for registration will not be considered until all the required documentation is received. Once the necessary documentation is received the application will be considered as soon as reasonably practical.

The Council strongly recommends that you do not make plans to move to New Zealand until you have completed the registration process (or have been advised to complete a competence assessment programme if necessary). Please also note that immigration does not come under the jurisdiction of the Council.

If you have any questions or require an application pack to be posted to you, please contact the Council with your full name and postal address by telephone +64-4-385 9589 or by email

Links Referenced
click here,29,62/ed-standards-dec11.pdf
click here,29,62/ed-prog-stds-rn-sop-sept10.pdf
click here,29,62/app-nz-31may10.pdf
application form,29,62/app-form-jan11.pdf
Adobe Acrobat