Whakamātautau Mutunga o te Motu
State Final Examinations

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 (the examination).

2022 State Final Examinations

The State Final Examination for registered and enrolled nurses is offered at regular intervals during the year, currently March, July and November.

The 2022 State Final Examination will be held on or close to:
  • Tuesday 15 March 2022  (results released by 8 April 2022).
  • Tuesday 19 July 2022 (Thursday 21 July for AUT students only). Results released by 12 August.
  • Tuesday 15 November 2022  (results released by 9 December 2022).

State Examination Structure

Registered and Enrolled Nurses

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:

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

To ensure that the pass standard for registered and enrolled nurses is maintained during the transition from the old paper-based exams to the new digital format, a robust moderation process is undertaken.

Application for the State Final Examination and Registration

When applications open 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 persons of good standing in the community where you live or have lived in New Zealand who have known you during the period of your nursing education. These people cannot be relatives, flatmates, fellow students or educators from your nursing school and must be willing to support your application for registration. If you have a conviction(s) please ensure that the two persons of good standing are aware of these conviction(s).

Please ensure you 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 examination $165
Fee for application of extra time in the State Final Examination $10

Ministry of Justice Criminal Record History

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

Failing to supply this information will delay your registration.

Court Convictions

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

Privacy Act 2020

  • The personal information collected in this application is required and held by the Nursing Council for the purpose of your application for registration under section 15 and 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
  • You are entitled to ask the Nursing Council for access to, and correction of, personal information
  • Unless you advise the Nursing Council otherwise, your 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 resit attempts where applicable.