Internationally Qualified Nurses

You may apply to become registered as a nurse in New Zealand if you are currently registered with an overseas regulatory authority and meet Nursing Council requirements.

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 has the following process:

Step 1: Verifying documents with CGFNS

All nurses are required to provide documents proving their:

  • identity
  • current registration/s held in the last 10 years
  • nursing qualification equivalent to NZ qualifications
  • evidence of English language proficiency
  • 1,800 hours post-registration nursing experience

You must verify and authenticate your documents first with CGFNS before applying to the Council to register.

Step 2: Apply to become registered

Apply to the Nursing Council AFTER your documents are verified & complete the following:

  • Welcome to Aotearoa New Zealand online courses
  • All nurses must complete two free online courses introducing you to culturally safe nursing practice in New Zealand.

  • Fitness to practise checks
  • All nurses are required to undergo a criminal history check.

  • Competence assessment
  • Some nurses will be required to undergo a competence assessment.

    • Find out if you might require a competence assessment here.
    • If you need a competence assessment, find out what that means here

You cannot apply directly to the Council as CGFNS must first verify your documents.

Link to apply

The link to apply and more information on requirements can be found here.

Timeframe for assessment

The Nursing Council is experiencing high volumes of applications from internationally qualified nurses. The length of time it takes to process these varies depending, for example, on whether a competence assessment or further documents are needed or whether all the requirements are met.

The current timeframe for assessment of your application is at least five months from the date that you first submit it to the Council.

This timing is separate from, and does not include, the time CGFNS takes to verify your documents.

Registration costs

Find out about registration costs here.

Enrolled nurses

The Council is developing a dedicated pathway to registration for enrolled nurses. Until that is in place, ENs follow the same process to get their documents verified and apply to be registered and then the Council will let you know what is needed next.


The Council has no role in the recruitment or employment of internationally qualified nurses.

If you have confirmed employment as a nurse in New Zealand and that means a written offer from an employer, not a verbal offer, and are waiting for your registration to be processed, please email [email protected].

Check application

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

FAQS – frequently asked questions