Internationally Qualified Nurses with other registration (non-Australian)

New Application

BEFORE starting your application, please read the information in the links below:

I have read the above information and wish to start my application (with CGFNS):

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Nursing Council Standards/Requirements

To be eligible to register there are seven standards for registration that you must meet to make sure you are safe, competent and prepared to nurse in New Zealand. Documentation required to meet these standards is described in the CGFNS Applicant Portal here.

You must be able to prove that you are who you say you are.

You must be able to communicate effectively with patients, colleagues, employers and other health professionals. The Nursing Council approved English language tests are: Occupational English Test (OET) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For OET you must achieve a minimum score of 350 for each band.

For IELTS you must achieve a minimum score of 7 in each band of the academic test.

You can achieve the minimum score in the English language tests over more than one sitting, however the required score must be met within 12 months of first sitting the test, and less than three years old when your CGFNS report is submitted to Nursing Council.


During the process of having your credentials documentation verified, if you are eligible you will be invited to apply for an English language waiver.

If you completed your nursing education and are registered as a nurse in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or the United States of America, you can request a waiver of the English language standard.

If you registered and practised in one of the above countries and you had to complete an English language test to gain registration, you may also apply for a waiver of the English language standard.

Please note that your waiver request may not be approved. You may instead be required to submit evidence of meeting the English language standard.

You must have been registered / licensed as a nurse in the country where you received your nursing education, and also hold current registration / license (in that or another country). You must also provide verification of good standing from all countries you have been and are registered with.

Your nursing qualification must be comparable to a Bachelor of Nursing degree in New Zealand.

A Bachelor degree is at level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).


Level on NZQA

(New Zealand Qualifications Framework)

Level on EQF


Level 5 - 6

Level 5

Bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate / diploma

Level 7

Level 6

Bachelor Honours Degree; Postgraduate certificate / diploma

Level 8

Master’s degree

Level 9

Level 7

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority describes Level 7 on the NZQF as having:

  • Knowledge: specialised technical or theoretical knowledge with depth in one or more fields of work or study;
  • Skills: analyse, generate solutions to unfamiliar and sometimes complex problems; select, adapt and apply a range of processes relevant to the field of work or study;
  • Application: advanced generic skills and or specialized knowledge and skills in a professional context or field of study.

Please click here for more information.

Education programme standards

Your nursing qualification(s) will be assessed for comparability with the New Zealand programme standards:


  • The programme must identify the expected learning outcomes for each course and how these learning outcomes are met and assessed
  • The programme must also show how nursing knowledge and skills are expanded and extended across the duration of the programme
  • 50% of the theory hours must have a clear nursing focus.

If your programme does not contain enough theory and clinical experience, or the theory content is not comparable to New Zealand content in specific areas of nursing, then a condition may be added to your scope of practice.

Nursing qualifications gained after registration

We will consider nursing qualifications or papers completed at graduate level when assessing your qualification(s). We are looking to see that you have further developed your knowledge from your initial qualification to be comparable with level 7 or above on the NZQF.

We will also consider evidence of professional development completed post registration that is relevant to nursing practice.

You must be able to provide evidence that you have practised nursing for at least two years (including 2,500 hours) within the last five years, as defined below.

If you have not worked as a nurse for at least two of the last five years, you may still apply for the credential verification service. However, there is no guarantee that you will be recommended for registration.

NOTE: if you have no post registration experience at all, you are not eligible to apply for registration.

The definition of the registered nurse scope of practice:

Registered nurses utilise nursing knowledge and complex nursing judgment to assess health needs and provide care, and to advise and support people to manage their health. They practise independently and in collaboration with other health professionals, perform general nursing functions, and delegate to and direct enrolled nurses, health care assistants and others. They provide comprehensive assessments to develop, implement, and evaluate an integrated plan of health care, and provide interventions that require substantial scientific and professional knowledge, skills and clinical decision making. This occurs in a range of settings in partnership with individuals, families, whānau and communities.

Registered nurses may practise in a variety of clinical contexts depending on their educational preparation and practice experience. Registered nurses may also use this expertise to manage, teach, evaluate and research nursing practice. Registered nurses are accountable for ensuring all health services they provide  are consistent with their education and assessed competence, meet legislative requirements and are supported by appropriate standards.

You must be able to demonstrate you are fit for registration. You will be advised when to apply for your criminal history checks during the application process.

You are required to complete an International Criminal History Check (ICHC) for every country you have lived in for twelve months or more over the last ten years. The ICHC must be completed through

If you have lived in New Zealand for six months or more, you are required to complete a criminal history check through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

You must be able to demonstrate that you are competent to practise in New Zealand.

Competence Assessment Programmes (CAPs)

Many nurses who have been registered overseas will need to successfully complete a Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) before we can grant New Zealand registration. The CAP prepares overseas registered nurses for the registered nurse role and healthcare context of New Zealand, which is different to many other countries

If you hold current registration in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, the United States of America or Canada, you may not need to complete a CAP because the registered nurse role and healthcare context in these countries is similar to New Zealand. We will advise you if you need to complete a competence assessment programme after we assess your application.

CAPs are generally six to twelve weeks long and include theory and clinical components. Applicants are given two years from the date of notification to begin a CAP.