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Certificate in Nursing (Competence Assessment Programme)


  • Starts May​ 2018
  • For 6 - 12 weeks
  • Applications are accepted throughout the year
  • Fee Guideline: $2,500
  • Study: Full Time      
  • City Campus, Hamilton

Note: This is only offered to NZ registered nurses

Need to get a New Zealand practicing certificate? The Certificate in Nursing (Competence Assessment Programme) can help you complete this.

If you are a registered Nurse, this programme will allow you to demonstrate your ability to meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies for your scope of practice.

New Zealand nurses returning to practice after a period of five years or more are required to complete an approved competence assessment programme, such as this programme, before a practising certificate may be issued.

If you are an overseas nurse you may be required to complete this programme before you can become registered in New Zealand.

Programme Content

This programme will take six to twelve weeks and will involve up to 10 days of classroom and self-directed learning and five to ten weeks of supervised clinical placements.

You will learn content that ensures you are able to demonstrate current and competent nursing skills within your scope of nursing practice. This includes a theory component that is specific to New Zealand’s health context such as an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi, cultural safety and the legislation and guidelines for the practice of nursing in New Zealand.  

You will undertake a period of supervised clinical experience that will allow you to demonstrate your nursing competence. 

Career Opportunities

The Certificate in Nursing (Competence Assessment Programme) may allow you to apply for a practicing certificate from the Nursing Council of New Zealand or if from overseas will allow you to be eligible to apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration and a practicing certificate to work in New Zealand as a nurse.

Entry Criteria

New Zealand Nurses

New Zealand registered nurses and registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Applicants with New Zealand nursing qualifications who are required by Nursing Council of New Zealand to complete the competency programme to apply for a current practising certificate may also be admitted to the programme.

Applicants are required to provide evidence of any health issues, mental or physical conditions, or criminal history that may prevent their entry onto the Nursing Register.

Overseas Nurses

Overseas registered nurses wishing to gain New Zealand Nursing Registration must have completed the application for registration process with the NCNZ and have received a decision letter outlining the requirements to be met to verify competency and New Zealand relevant skills.

All applicants

Applicants from a country where English is not the first or native language will need to provide evidence, obtained within two years from the date of assessment for registration, of their ability to speak and write in English. The Nursing Council of New Zealand approved  language tests for this programme are:

  • Academic International English language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of at least 7.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking respectively
  • Occupational English test (OET) with minimum B band in each section.

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively to practise within their scope of practice.

Download the full programme regulations:

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