Internationally Qualified Nurses: The Application Process

Are you a Registered Nurse

thinking of working in New Zealand?

Then this blog post is definitely for you!

In order to practice in NZ, you will obviously need a New Zealand Nursing Registration/License (Practicing Certificate).    For registered nurses in Australia, they may apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) for registration under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.  They would need to complete the form available at NCNZ website and pay the application fee of $340.00 -which is non-refundable.

For all Internationally Qualified Nurses (IQN) –excluding Australia, you may want to try the online self-assessment tool to give you an idea of what are required for the application process.

Click  here   to start with the online self-assessment tool.

Now, let’s talk about the specific requirement for IQN applicants:

  1.   The nursing qualification obtained internationally should be equivalent to Level 7 in New Zealand (this means it is a bachelors degree), a full-time study for minimum of 3 years and completed within 5 years of first enrollment.  It should also meet the education standards for the registered nurse program in New Zealand.
  2.  Currently hold a nursing registration with an overseas Regulatory Authority.
  3.   English Language Requirement: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) -Academic or Occupational English Test (OET)

    a) You must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 for each band: reading, listening, writing and speaking. This does not need to be achieved in a single sitting of the IELTS test. This can be gained over a succession of tests, sat within 12 months of first sitting the test, or b) You must pass the OET with a score of at least B in each section: reading, listening, writing and speaking. This does not need to be achieved in a single sitting of the OET, but can be gained over a succession of tests (providing the applicant uses the same candidate number) sat within 12 months of first sitting the test.

  4. Provide evidence that you have completed two years post-registration nursing   practice as a registered nurse.  This must include at least 2500 practicing hours within the five years immediately preceding the date of application for registration in New Zealand.

  5.  If you met criteria 1-4 then you can proceed with your application.  Online application is available through NCNZ website.  When completing your application you will also be asked to make a declaration regarding your competence and fitness to practice. This includes questions about your communication ability, mental and physical health conditions and any convictions or professional disciplinary proceedings. Please note, application will re-open on January 16, 2017, 0830AM (NZ Time).
  6.  The application fee for IQN registration is $650.00  -which is non-refundable.
  7.  When advised, IQN applicants will need to complete an International Criminal History Check (ICHC) from a council-approved vendor for each country that you have lived in or been primarily based (other than New Zealand) for 6 consecutive months or longer.  Applicants will be responsible for their ICHC, which costs $149.00 (Australian Dollar) per country.
  8. Once all documents have been received, your application will be assessed within 30 working days.  Please note, that there could also be some delay due to number of applicants.
  9. At the direction of the Nursing Council (once you get approval), you can now successfully enroll in a Nursing Council approved Competence Assessment Programme (CAP). Completing CAP will allow you to subsequently apply for a NZ Nursing Registration.
  10. Congratulations on obtaining your Nursing Council approval to enroll in a Competency Assessment Program!  Now, the next part of your journey is finding a nursing school which offers CAP (Remember it has to be recognized by NCNZ).

Important reminder:  Requirements for NZ Nursing Registration may change -so always, always check the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) website for any updates.  If your application was rejected/further evidence were required or if you have specific questions then do contact NCNZ for your concerns. 🙂

Nursing Council of New Zealand Contact Details:

If you are phoning from within New Zealand: 04 385 9589

If you are phoning from overseas: 0064 4 385 9589


Click the image to be redirected to NCNZ home page




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