Nursing Council announces providers of IQN examination process

The Nursing Council has contracted two respected providers to deliver its theoretical and clinical examinations as part of the new competence assessment process for internationally qualified nurses (IQNs).

The online theoretical exam, which tests nursing knowledge across a range of competencies, will be offered at a test centre through our accredited provider, Pearson VUE, either overseas or in New Zealand.

Pearson VUE is known internationally for its experience in conducting confidential examinations across many sectors. The company has 5,500 test centres in more than 180 countries, delivering more than 19 million exams annually.

The Nursing Council has accredited Nurse Maude Simulation Centre in Christchurch to deliver its clinical examination for IQNs. Nurse Maude is a non-profit organisation that is a trusted and longstanding provider of healthcare services.

The three-hour objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which must be done in person, will be taken at a purpose-designed simulation centre at Nurse Maude facilities. Prior to the exam, there will be a two-day orientation and preparation course held in the city.

Internationally qualified nurses required to undertake the examinations will be able to book electronically via a secure online portal.

Those IQNs who applied to the Council before the new process was in place (prior to 04 Dec 2023) will continue undertaking competence assessment programmes (CAPs), however, they may be given the opportunity to transition to the new examination process.

The Council is planning for an 18-month transition period (all of 2024 into 2025) where the CAPs and the new competence examination process will be in place alongside each other.

You can find information on the Registration for International Nurses website page and in our FAQs.