Whakamātautau Mutunga o te Motu
State Final Examination

At the completion of a programme leading to registration as a registered nurse or enrolled nurse, students are required to sit and pass the Nursing Council State Final Examination.

At the completion of a programme leading to registration as a registered nurse or enrolled nurse, students are required to sit and pass the Nursing Council State Final Examination.

2024 State Final Examination

The Nursing Council will be running the State Final Examination in 2024 on the following dates:

  Registered Nurse:  Enrolled Nurse:  Results released by:
 March Tuesday 19 March 2024 Tuesday 19 March 2024 Friday 5 April 2024
 July Tuesday 16 July 2024 Wednesday 17 July 2024 Friday 2 August 2024
 November  Tuesday 19 November 2024  Wednesday 20 November 2024  Friday 6 December 2024

State Examination Structure

The State Final Examination consists of four sections, based on Council’s competence domains and a section on medicine calculations.

The domains and the proportion of questions for each section are as follows:

  • Medicine Calculations = 10% of questions
  • Professional Responsibility = 20% of questions
  • Management and Delivery of Nursing Care = 60% of questions
  • Interpersonal Relationships and Interprofessional healthcare = 10% of questions.

These domains of competence make clear and specific links to Council's competencies for the registered and enrolled nurse scopes of practice and emphasise the application of nursing knowledge required for the safe and competent practice of a new graduate nurse.

To achieve a pass in the examination sufficient marks must be achieved to give the Nursing Council reasonable confidence that the candidate is ready to safely enter the nursing profession.

This requires candidates to achieve an overall mark of 70% across the whole exam. A robust moderation process is undertaken to ensure a consistent standard is maintained.

Application for the State Final Examination and Registration

When applications open the Council will email the login details for the application to candidates.


All candidates are required to submit the names, addresses, contact numbers and email addresses (all contact details are mandatory) for two people of good standing in the community where they live or have lived in New Zealand who have known them during the period of their nursing education. These people cannot be relatives, flatmates, fellow students or educators from a nursing school and must be willing to support the candidates application for registration. If the candidate has a conviction(s) they must ensure that the two people of good standing are aware of these conviction(s).

A candidate should have this information ready to avoid being timed out of the application form.

Examination/Registration Fees

Registered Nurse/Enrolled Nurse first time sitting $240 (made up $165 examination fee and $75 registration fee)
Nurses already registered with the Nursing Council (EN transitioning/EN completing RN) $165
If resitting an examination $165

Ministry of Justice Criminal Record History

In order to be registered an applicant is required to supply the Council with any criminal conviction history obtained within the last three months. The applicant must go to the Ministry of Justice website www.justice.govt.nz/criminal-records/get-your-own/ to request their own criminal conviction history. They need to request an electronic copy of their record and not the full record. When they receive the result they must forward this directly to the Council by email [email protected] with their name and candidate number in the subject line.

Failing to supply this information will delay an applicant's registration.

Court Convictions

  • The Nursing Council requests a Ministry of Justice criminal record history which will identify court convictions.
  • An applicant is also required to disclose any convictions or charges that occur from the date of completing the application until their registration.
  • Under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 criminal convictions may have been removed from their record and they do not need to declare these convictions. Information about this is available at www.justice.govt.nz
  • If an applicant has a conviction they are invited to provide a written explanation, outline any mitigating circumstances and any steps they have taken to address the conduct that led to the conviction. They will be required to satisfy the Nursing Council that the conviction does not reflect adversely on their fitness to practise as a nurse.
  • The Registrar may decide to register the applicant after considering this response or may refer their application for registration to a Registrant Quality Committee. They will be given the opportunity to provide a written and/or oral response to that committee before any decision about their registration is made.
  • The Head of Nursing from the applicant's school is required to provide a letter supporting their application, and acknowledging that they have declared their conviction.

Privacy Act 2020

  • The personal information collected in this application is required and held by the Nursing Council for the purpose of an application for registration under section 15 and 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.
  • An applicant is entitled to ask the Nursing Council for access to, and correction of, personal information.
  • Unless the applicant advises the Nursing Council otherwise, their results will be disclosed to the relevant school of nursing.

Examination results

Results are issued on a pass or fail basis.

Successful candidates who have met all other requirements will be emailed directly with their results, confirmation of registration, and a link to apply for an annual practising certificate online.

Successful candidates who have not yet met other requirements will be emailed their results but must wait for confirmation of registration until all other requirements are met.

Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email. This communication will also include information about re-sit attempts where applicable.

Unsuccessful candidates may apply to the Nursing Council for an analysis of their examination results. This is not available for successful candidates.