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 practice 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 in December 2023.

Nurses who require a competence assessment will be required to undertake the following:

  • an online theoretical exam that tests your nursing knowledge, taken at an accredited exam centre overseas or in New Zealand.
  • and
  • an orientation and preparation course followed by a clinical exam known as an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) This tests your clinical and professional skills, at an examination centre in New Zealand over a total of three days.

These changes will not affect you if:

  • you apply to the Nursing Council before the new system is in place (December 2023)
  • you have completed your document verification with CGFNS and your application for registration is being assessed by the Nursing Council.

You can only apply for registration to the Nursing Council once your documents have been verified by CGFNS.

CGFNS is experiencing a high number of internationally qualified nurses submitting their documents for verification. As a result, nurses can expect some delays with processing existing applications. If you are only now submitting your documents to CGFNS, they may not be verified in time for you to be able to apply to be registered by the Nursing Council under the current competence requirements. It is likely that you will be applying to register under the new competence examination requirements which you can find out about 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.