Nurses in New Zealand work in a range of hospital and community settings. While the number of registered nurses working in New Zealand rose steadily between 2005 and 2009, this job still features on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list.

Scope of practice

Three scopes of practice are prescribed for nurses under the HPCAA.
These are:

1. Registration

Nurses working in New Zealand are required by law to be registered by the Nursing Council of New Zealand and to hold a current Annual Practising Certificate.
For more information on the registration process, see the information below and our flow chart.

Australian applicants

If you are a registered nurse in Australia, you are eligible to seek registration in New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.
In addition to your application form, you must send a certified copy of your current Australian practising certificate or your registration certificate, as well as a certified copy of your passport and the required fees to the Nursing Council.
For more information on the application process and to download application forms, please see the Nursing Council’s website.
If your application is approved, you will be sent a formal Registration Certificate and an application form for your Annual Practising Certificate. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified by letter.

Other applicants

In order to apply to become a registered nurse in New Zealand, you will need to send a completed application form to the Nursing Council, along with your application fee, certified copies of your registration certificate (or an authenticated copy of Board certificate if you are from the Philippines), passport, IELTS or OET certificate and original copies of your police certificate, CV, professional references and character reference.
The Council should send a letter acknowledging receipt of your application within 5 to 10 working days.
They will then send you a verification request form and a transcript request form. These forms need to be correctly filled in and returned by the appropriate parties to the Nursing Council.
Once received, the Council will process your application. This usually takes between 20 and 40 working days.
The Council will decide whether your qualification and skills are equivalent to New Zealand standards. You may be required to undertake a competency assessment programme (CAP) before you can be registered. These courses take between 6 and 8 weeks and include both theoretical and clinical components.
If your application is approved, you will be notified. You will then need to apply for an Annual Practising Certificate.
For more information on the application process and to download application forms, please see the Nursing Council's website.

2. Job offer

After you have gained registration with the Nursing Council, you can begin looking for a job. Visit the national health job website to begin your hunt today.

3. Work visa

To be eligible to work in New Zealand, you will need a work visa. You can apply for work visas from Immigration New Zealand. If you are an Australian national, you do not need to apply for a work visa. 
Got a question? Check out our forum to see if your question has already been answered or contact us directly.



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