International registration

Nurse with patient 3

When a nurse who is registered with an overseas authority applies to the Council for registration in New Zealand, each application is assessed on an individual basis. The Council operates a system of reciprocal registration with Australia.

For application forms and guides to international registration, please see the documents in the right hand downloads box on this page.

Before applying please take our self assessment 

Australian applicants

Applicants registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) may apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration under the  Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

For downloadable forms, see the downloads box on the right of this page.

If you have any questions or require an application pack to be posted to you, please contact the Council with your full name and postal address:

All other international applicants: How to register

For Registered nurse and Enrolled nurse International application forms, please see the downloads box on the right of this page.

All information provided by an applicant in support of his or her application for registration must be true and accurate. If false or misleading information is submitted, the application will not be processed. This may affect any subsequent application and the appropriate authorities may be notified, including immigration New Zealand. If the applicant obtained registration by making a false or misleading representation or declaration, or was not entitled to be registered, the Council may order the cancellation of the applicant’s registration. 

There are two scopes of practice that you may apply for registration in:

1. Registered Nurse scope of practice

Scope definition

2. Enrolled Nurse scope of practice

Scope definition               

Requirements for registration 

Applicants for registration must provide evidence that they:

  • have an international nursing qualification equivalent to that prescribed in New Zealand.  The qualification prescribed by the Nursing Council for Registered Nurses from overseas was updated 1 March 2013.
  • are competent to practise within their scope of practice
  • are fit for registration. This includes the ability to communicate effectively in English for the purpose of practising nursing. 

International applicants from all countries (except Australia) are required to sit an English Language assessment before submitting an application. The assessment can be either the International English Language Testing (IELTS) Academic Test, or the Occupational English Test (OET). 

Applications for registration will not be considered until all the required documentation is received. Once the necessary documentation is received, the application will be considered within 30 working days. Please do not contact the Nursing Council during this time.  Council staff will contact you if the information provided is insufficient or requires clarification.  

The Council strongly recommends that you do not make plans to move to New Zealand until you have completed the registration process (or have been advised to complete a competence assessment programme and secured a placement on the programme, if necessary). 

Enrolled Nurse applicants

There are very limited placements available in the enrolled nurse Competence Assessment Programmes (CAPs).  This programme must be successfully completed prior to registration within the required timeframe.  In addition, there are limited employment opportunities for enrolled nurses to practise in New Zealand.    

Please also note that the Council has no jurisdiction in immigration matters (www.immigration.govt.nz)

If you have any questions please contact the Council with your full name:

For downloadable forms, see the downloads box on the right of this page.

Shortened nursing courses available in New Zealand have not been approved by the Nursing Council and may not lead to registration. If you are unsure whether the course you are applying for is approved by the Council, or is a pathway to registration, please contact Council staff at  registration@nursingcouncil.org.nz

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