Nursing Council of New Zealand changes to competence assessment requirements

Over the last year, the Council has been working on a new competence assessment for internationally qualified nurses, and we would like to let you know that these changes will begin in December 2023.

If you require an assessment of competence, you will be required to complete the following:

  • an online theoretical exam that tests your nursing knowledge, taken at an accredited exam centre overseas or in New Zealandand
  • a two-day orientation and preparation course followed by a clinical examination known as an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). The OSCE takes three hours and tests your clinical and professional skills. It is taken in person at an accredited centre in New Zealand.

How will these changes affect me? For internationally qualified nurses who have already applied to the Nursing Council for registration or will do so before the new process is implemented, these changes will have no immediate effect and you may undertake a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP).

If your application has been sent to CGFNS and your documents are waiting for verification, and you have not been able to apply to the Nursing Council by December 2023, these changes will affect you. Your documentation must be verified before you can apply to the Nursing Council for registration.

You can find more information on our website ( by clicking on the Registration for International Nurses section on the home page.

We will provide further updates on our website.

Catherine Byrne
Chief Executive/Registrar
Nursing Council of New Zealand

CGFNS International will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Regular hours will resume on November 27, 2022.