New qualification for registered nurses from overseas

11 January 2013

In May 2012, the Nursing Council of New Zealand (the Council) consulted on the qualifications prescribed by the Council for overseas registered nurses under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. A total of 67 written submissions were received. An analysis of the submissions found that most submitters supported all of the Councils proposals, including a level seven qualification and post registration experience. The Council confirmed the following new prescribed qualifications at its December meeting.   

Analysis of Submissions on IQN (PDF, 594 KB)

From 1 March 2013 all overseas applications for registration will be required to meet the new prescribed qualifications which are as follows:

a)   Current registration with an overseas regulatory authority; AND

b)   Successful completion of a nursing programme that is, in the Nursing Council’s opinion, equivalent to a three year bachelor degree programme in nursing and at level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework; AND

c)   Two years post-registration nursing practice as a registered nurse of at least 2,500 hours within the five years immediately preceding the date of the application; AND

d)   At the direction of the Nursing Council successful completion of a Nursing Council approved competence assessment programme.

The Council has deferred making changes to the English language standards until research conducted by Dr Leslie Hawthorn (commissioned by AHPRA) is available. This means the English language requirements remain at a 7 in all bands of IELTS and a B or A in all bands of an OET. The scores can be achieved over a succession of tests within 12 months of first sitting the test.

The submitters also gave considerable feedback on the Competence Assessment Programme. New Competence Assessment Programme standards will be consulted on early 2013.

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