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.
- 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.