State final examinations
At the completion of a programme leading to registration as a registered nurse or enrolled nurse, students are required to sit and pass the Nursing Council State Final Examination (the examination).
The 2015 examinations will be held on:
- Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - Estimated date for results to be released will be on 14 August 2015
- Tuesday, 17 November 2015 - Estimated date for results to be released will be on 11 December 2015
Please note: The result release date is an estimated date and is subject to change.
Applying for the State Final Examination
Institutes will provide candidates with website address, login and password details for the online application 12 weeks prior to the examination date. Applications close 6 weeks before the examination.
To complete the application candidates will need the following:
- 2x Referees and their contact details (criteria apply see below *)
- A personal email address - not one issued by the institute
- If already registered with the Council will need to enter their registration number.
- Examination / registration fee for candidates who pay individually – either credit card or direct credit – see fees page of the website.
* Referee criteria – candidates are required to submit the names, addresses, contact numbers and email addresses of two persons of good standing in the community where you live who have known you during the period of your nursing education. These people can not be relatives, flatmates, fellow students, or educators from your nursing department and must be willing to verify this declaration in support of your application for registration.
Candidates will receive a confirmation email at the end of the application process.
Police Vetting Service and Convictions
Note: From July 2015, the Council is moving from Ministry of Justice Criminal checks to Police Vetting Service checks.
All candidates are required to complete a Police Vetting Service Request and Consent form. These forms are generally issued by your school, who will collect it from you and send it to the Nursing Council, if your school is unable to sent your form to the Council on your behalf you must arrange getting it sent to the Council in hard copy. See the right hand downloads box to download one should you require it. Students should make sure they take care when completing the form i.e. check expiry dates of passports / drivers licence and check their signature on the form matches the signature on their identification before submitting.
All forms should be sent to:
Nursing Council of New Zealand
Education and Standards Department
PO Box 9644
Important: If the Nursing Council receives a criminal conviction report for a student who has more than one drink driving conviction, the student may be required to obtain a medical assessment by their General Practitioner (at their own expense). The assessment may also need to include CDT (Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin) and Liver Function tests which can cost $100 - $200 approximately. The purpose of this requirement is to satisfy Nursing Council that the student is able to perform the functions required for the practice of nursing, and that the student is not unfit to practise because of an alcohol dependency or abuse
- If you have any conviction(s), please provide to the Nursing Council a separate email or letter from your perspective with the details of each charge upon which you were convicted, the date of each conviction, the penalty provided by law for each conviction and the penalty actually handed down to you by the Court (if any) for each conviction. You are welcome to provide a report or submission regarding any mitigating circumstances in respect of the conviction(s).
- Please note that you are not required to provide all convictions under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004. Information about this Act is available on the Police Vetting Service website http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/businesses-and-organisations/vetting/information-about-vetting.
- You are also required to declare any convictions that you may receive from when you complete this form until such time as you are considered for registration.
- The Head of Nursing from your school will be required to submit a letter acknowledging that you declared your conviction(s) and that they support your registration.
- The information that you provide will be considered by the Registrar / Registration Committee of the Nursing Council in order to determine whether the offence reflects adversely on your fitness to practise as a registered nurse/enrolled nurse. This information will be held by the Nursing Council and used for purposes related to its registration functions.
- The Registration Committee may also wish to meet with you to discuss your conviction(s).
The State Final Examinations Structure
The State Final Examinations are set up and marked in the following manner:
The questions in the examinations are allocated to one of four key categories, of which 60% is the required pass rate for each key category:
- safe / effective environment
- physiological integrity
- psychosocial integrity
- health promotion / maintenance
and to one of six subcategories, of which 50% is the required pass rate for each subcategory:
- ethical / legal safety
- community health nursing
- maternal and child health nursing
- medical nursing
- surgical nursing
- mental health / psychiatric nursing
The questions in the examinations are allocated to one of four key categories, of which 60% is the required pass rate:
- physiological knowledge
- psychosocial / communication
- clinical skills / knowledge
- ethical / legal safety
State Final Examination Results
It is anticipated that an unofficial list containing the candidate numbers of those applicants who pass 21 July 2015 Nursing Council State Final Examination will be made available on the Nursing Council website homepage on 14 August 2015 at approximately 9.00am
Please note this unofficial list is provided by the Council as an information service only and is not to be relied upon as an official list, notification or record.
Successful candidates who have met all other requirements will receive an email the afternoon of Friday 10 April 2015 with their results and details of how to apply for an annual practising certificate online. Registration certificates are posted to successful candidates. The results are issued on a pass/fail basis and a percentage mark is not provided.
Results are not available over the telephone.
Candidate numbers of unsuccessful candidates will not be displayed. Results will be posted out to these students and will include information on resitting the state final examination at the next opportunity.
Q Why do I only get a pass or fail result rather than the actual percentage result for my exam?
A The Council state final examinations are assessed on a pass / fail basis, thus an overall percentage is not allocated. The purpose of the state final examination is to determine competence and safety to practice. Therefore those candidates who pass are considered safe to practice.
Q I have passed the examination, can I get percentage results if I really want to?
A Yes, you will need to contact the education team for a ‘request for analysis’ form and pay the $79.00 processing fee.
Q Can I work as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) once I am registered as a Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse?
A Yes you can work as a Healthcare Assistant once you have passed the State Final Examination, you are registered and have an Annual Practising Certificate. A Registered or Enrolled Nurse who wants to work as Healthcare Assistant is an employment matter and not something that the Nursing Council needs to be notified of.
The Nursing Council does have some words of caution for Registered or Enrolled Nurses taking on a Healthcare Assistant role.
As a Registered or Enrolled Nurse you need to be very careful that you only take on the Healthcare Assistant role if that is what you are employed as. This means ensuring that you are not taking on additional responsibilities that would ordinarily be part of the role of a Registered or Enrolled Nurse. The Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse needs to ensure that he/she is not using his/her nursing knowledge in the role as a Healthcare Assistant.
The Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse also needs to be aware that they may be held accountable under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act), because he/she is still on the nursing register. It is not a requirement that a Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse holds a current Annual Practising Certificate for charges of professional misconduct to be brought under the Act.
It is also important to note that Registered Nurses or Enrolled Nurses working as Healthcare Assistants are not maintaining competence through professional development and are not being measured against the Nursing Council competencies for the Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse scope of practice . This also means for example, that Healthcare Assistant ‘clinical’ hours do not count towards practice hours when applying for a practising certificate as a Registered or Enrolled Nurse and similarly professional development is unlikely to count either.