Nurses who have gained registration or enrolment in countries other than New Zealand must apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for admission to the register before being able to practice in New Zealand.

The Nursing Council of New Zealand is a statutory authority. It governs the practice of nurses. The Council sets and monitors standards in the interests of the public and the professions.

To work as a registered nurse in New Zealand, your qualification must be assessed by the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

The Nursing Council assesses each applicant on an individual basis.

Principle considerations for registration are:

  • The applicant has undertaken a nursing program that is similar in all specified content and length to the equivalent program in New Zealand, and is able to meet the competencies for registration or enrolment.
  • The applicant has practiced as a nurse within the past five years.
  • The applicant has supplied the Nursing Council with evidence, obtained within the past two years, of ability to speak and write in the English language, when English is not the applicant’s first language. Recognized tests are CGNFS, IELTS, OET, or as part of a competency program.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements for nursing registration may be required to undergo further experience with instruction through a Department of Nursing within a New Zealand educational institution.

Information for overseas nurses: