Internationally Qualified Nurses

Our requirements are changing

Internationally qualified nurses who are currently registered with an overseas regulatory authority and meet Nursing Council requirements may apply to become registered to practise in New Zealand.

If you are a nurse with a current practising certificate in Australia, and you want to apply to register in New Zealand, click here.

For all other internationally qualified nurses, the Nursing Council is changing its registration process from the 4th December 2023.

Nurses who require a competence assessment will need to successfully complete the following:

  • an online theoretical exam that tests your nursing knowledge, taken at an accredited exam centre overseas or in New Zealand.
  • and
  • a two-day orientation and preparation course followed by a clinical examination known as an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The OSCE takes three hours and tests a nurse’s clinical skills. These will take place in person in New Zealand at an accredited centre.

For internationally qualified nurses, these changes will have no immediate effect on you if:

  • you have already applied for registration to the Nursing Council after your documents have been verified by CGFNS, an external agency

  • you are able to apply, once your documents are verified, before the new process is implemented.

You can only apply to the Nursing Council for registration once your identity and documents have been verified by CGFNS. CGFNS has advised that they have a backlog of documentation to get through. As a result, nurses can expect some delays. If you are only now submitting documents to CGFNS, this is likely to mean by the time you apply to the Nursing Council to become registered, the new system will be in place and you will be assessed under the new competence requirements.

The Council anticipates there will be an 18-month transition period where both the existing CAP and the new competence examination processes will be in place.

You can find out about the new competence requirements here.

To find out more about the coming changes, read our FAQs.

Culturally Safe Nursing Practice

To help ensure all nurses in New Zealand have the knowledge and skills to provide culturally safe care, the Nursing Council currently requires internationally qualified nurses to complete two free online courses.

The two courses provide fundamental knowledge for culturally safe nursing practice and introduce Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Read more information here

Timeframe for assessment

The Nursing Council is currently experiencing a significant increase in the number of applications from internationally qualified nurses.

We are processing applications as quickly as possible and once a case manager has been assigned to you, we will get back to you about the progress of your application.

The current timeframe for the Council assessment of your registration application, not including the CGFNS process, is a minimum of at least three months.

If you have confirmed employment in New Zealand, please email [email protected].

If you would like to check on your application, log into your MyIQN here.