Changing nurse workforce highlighted in Council's annual report

The changing nature of the nursing workforce is highlighted in the Nursing Council’s annual report 2022 – 2023.

As the world opened up post-pandemic, New Zealand nurses may have taken up opportunities to work in other countries but, at the same time, there was an upsurge in the number of internationally qualified nurses (IQNs) seeking to become registered in Aotearoa New Zealand.

There are now more than 69,000 nurses with practising certificates on the register with IQNs making up 36% of the workforce, as at the end of March 2023.

The rapid growth in both areas led to a challenging business year for the Council which improved business practices and strengthened the team assessing IQN applications.

In acknowledging Aotearoa’s unique regulatory setting, the Council is committed to embedding the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to improve health equity for Māori. This involves the need to partner with Māori to determine input at the beginning and throughout the design of strategic projects, and emphasise a co-working approach.

The Council also values collaborating with the sector to develop standards that are future-focused and reflect the realities of nursing practice. As an example, the review of the enrolled nurse scope of practice was undertaken in partnership with the enrolled nurse section of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and Te Poari o Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa. Consultation on the development of the scope is ongoing.

For further details about the work the Council undertakes, read the annual report here.