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).
2018 State Final Examinations
The 2018 State Final Examinations will be held on:
- Tuesday 20 March 2018 (Estimated date for results to be released 13 April 2018)
- Tuesday 17 July 2018 (Estimated date for results to be released 10 August 2018)
- Tuesday 20 November 2018 (Estimated date for results to be released 14 December 2018)
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 or have lived in New Zealand 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 school and must be willing to support your application for registration.
Candidates will receive a confirmation email at the end of the application process.
Police Vetting Service and Convictions
All candidates are requested 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 send your form to the Council on your behalf you must arrange sending it 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
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
- The Nursing Council requests a police vetting check which will identify all or some of the following:
- Court covictions
- Active charges
- Charges that did not result in a conviction
- Interactions with the police
- Police investigations
- You are also required to disclose any convictions or charges that occur from the date of completing the application until your registration.
- Under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 criminal convictions may have been removed from your record and you do not need to declare these convictions. Information about this is available at www.justice.govt.nz.
- If you have a conviction you are invited to provide a written explanation, outlining any mitigating circumstances and any steps you have taken to address the conduct that led to the conviction. You will be required to satisfy the Nursing Council that the conviction does not reflect adversely on your fitness to practise as a nurse.
- The Registrar may decide to register you after considering this response or may refer your application for registration to a registration committee. You will be given the opportunity to provide a written and/or oral response to that committee before any decision about your registration is made.
- The Head of Nursing from your school is also required to provide a letter acknowledging that you have declared your conviction and supporting your registration.
Privacy Act 1993
- The personal information collected in the application form is required and held by the Nursing Council for the purpose of your application for registration under sections 15 and 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.
- You are entitled to ask the Nursing Council for access to, and correction of, personal information.
- Unless you advise the Nursing Council otherwise, your results will be disclosed to the relevant school of nursing.
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
Results for all candidates will be emailed directly from the Nursing Council to candidates’ email addresses as supplied on the online application form on the morning of the day the results are released.
Examination results are issued on a pass or fail basis and a percentage mark is not provided.
Results are not available over the phone.
Successful candidates who have met all other requirements are registered by the Nursing Council and will receive an email regarding their results. The email will also include a link to apply for an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) online.
Successful candidates who have not met all other requirements will have their results issued as Passed/Requirements Not Met.
Candidates will have their registration delayed if Police vetting request and consent forms/results have not been received by the Nursing Council prior to the release of the Examination results.
Candidates with criminal convictions may also have their registration delayed while further information is sought from candidates and candidate referees for consideration by the Nursing Council Registration Committee.
Unsuccessful candidates will receive an email regarding their results. These results will also include State Final Examination resit information where applicable. Results will also be posted out to unsuccessful candidates including resit information where applicable.
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 practise. 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.
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