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A website for young nurses and the young at heart in Aotearoa

Considering nursing?

Nurses don’t just work in hospitals, see the profiles of nurses for an idea of just a few of the opportunities available as a nurse. To see if nursing's right for you try volunteering at a local resthome or agency such as Age Concern.


What does nursing education involve?

A 3 year degree comprised of class time and placements in different health care settings - can be completed in up to 5 years. The degree covers general medical and surgical nursing, adult health, maternity & child health, older people's health, mental health and community health.


What are the pre-requisites to get into a nursing degree?

This will depend on the institute but will usually require you to have gained university entrance as well as credits in the sciences. Some institutes will offer “catch up” courses you can do to gain entry if you do not meet the academic requirements.


You will need a current first aid certificate.

You must meet the requirements set out by the Nursing Council of New Zealand

You will need a police check and if accepted into a nursing programme you will require health testing and possibly some immunisations.


Where can I study to be a nurse?


How much does it cost to become a nurse?

  • The fee differs between different tertiary education providers, the average is around $17,500 for the 3 years Bachelor of Nursing degree and between $5500 to $8500 for the 18 months Diploma in Enrolled Nursing.
  • There are many scholarships and funding streams that you may be eligible for free or heavily subsidised education, such as Zero Fees Scheme with Southern Institute of Technology, Voluntary Bonding Scheme with Health Workforce New Zeland who also provides a variety of other scholarships and fundings. You may also ask StudyLink for assistance in obtaining your tertiary education

How much do you get paid to be a nurse?

  • Starting rate for a new registered nurse is around $47,000 (in DHB’s)
  • Under the NZNO DHB MECA you get a pay rise every year for the first five years of working as a nurse, click here to see the MECA
  • As a nurse you get paid additional amounts for working on weekends and overnight
  • Some hard to staff areas have bonding schemes to help you pay off your student loan


Can my New Zealand nursing qualification be used overseas?

New Zealand has a reciprocal agreement with Australia. This means your New Zealand registration is valid in these countries. To work in other countries you will need to check with their nursing regulation bodies. Depending on the country you may need to do a course, sit a test or complete an unpaid period of supervised nursing before being able to register.