Competency Assessment Programme for Nurses

This programme is for people who are looking to return to clinical practice, or overseas registered nurses looking to work in Aotearoa. With integrated theory and practical learning, students get the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a professional setting.

Programme outline

Before applying for this qualification please ensure you have read the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

This programme integrates theory and practice and gives the overseas registered nurse, or the registered nurse who has been away from clinical practice, the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to meet the New Zealand Nursing Council Competencies for the Registered Nurse Scope of Practice and thereby apply for an annual practising certificate.

Entry requirements

New Zealand Qualified Nurse (NZQN)

Evidence of suitability based on: relevant clinical practice (a minimum of two years post-registration), health screening, safety check and referee reports.

Internationally Qualified Nurse (IQN)

In addition to completing the application form:

Internationally Qualified Nurses will also need to provide the following documents:

  • Completed and signed Application to Enrol (international students) form
  • A copy of letter from Nursing Council New Zealand stating eligibility to apply for a Competency Assessment programme (please check Nursing Council of New Zealand website for details)
  • A copy of current updated C.V signed and dated (for Internationally trained nurses) relevant clinical practice (a minimum of two-year hospital nursing) within the last four years
  • A copy of current visa (if you are currently residing in New Zealand)
  • A verified copy of your passport or birth certificate confirming your legal name and residency status
  • Academic IELTS 7.0 in all bands (achieved in one sitting); or OET B in all sub-tests (achieved in one sitting)
  • Police clearance certificates (applicants who have lived in countries other than New Zealand need to provide a Police Clearance from each country) 

All documentation must be verified as true copy. The verification can be done by any of the authorised people below who can verify your documents:

  • Justice of the Peace (JP), Public Notary, Court Registrar, Deputy Registrar, Public Trust Officer
  • Barrister or Solicitor of the High Court
  • Local or Central Government employee designated for the purpose of taking oaths and declarations 
Update 1 October 2021: 

Applicants who are not residing in New Zealand are recommended to submit applications through one of our partnered agents. If you are from either the Philippines or India and currently not residing in New Zealand, we would like to recommend you to contact one of the  agents below:

AJV Services Ltd - India

Advanz Plus Limited - Philippines

Golden Summit Immigration Consultancy - Philippines

Visa Premiere - Philippines

YESTE Migration Consulting - India 

Working International Visas Ltd - Philippines

To apply, please email the above-required documents to  As per New Zealand Government instructions, everyone entering New Zealand must go into managed isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days. For information on what this means, and what to do when you arrive in New Zealand, please see the NZ Government's COVID-19 website.

Find your country's equivalent academic entry requirements here

*International fee displayed is for 1 year of study (equivalent to 120 credits) and does not include insurance and administration (approximately $924 per year of study).


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all students applying for entry to a health or social practice programme are strongly recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Offering institute

This qualification is offered by Whitireia.

From 2023, Whitireia and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. All programmes offered by Whitireia and other subsidiaries of Te Pūkenga are under review, to ensure they are portable, consistent and aligned with the needs of industry. The programme you have enrolled in may change over time.

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