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Competency Assessment Programme - for Internationally Qualified Nurses

This course is designed to enable and provide internationally-qualified nurses with the skills and knowledge to practice within New Zealand’s health context.


Please note: We are currently accepting applications for this programme from domestic and international applicants (on-shore and off-shore) who are Internationally Qualified nurses for this programme.

This course is designed to offer internationally qualified registered nurses (IQNs) an understanding of the New Zealand context and assess their competence to practice within a New Zealand healthcare setting. IQNs successfully completing this course will demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand requirements to register in New Zealand.

The duration of this course is 10 weeks, and a mix of full- and part-time study to enable some flexibility for students.

First, you’ll complete four weeks of theoretical study (3 days per week), including applied learning at Waitākere Hospital’s Simulation Lab, to develop your understanding of contemporary nursing in New Zealand. Then you’ll complete six weeks of clinical practice. We aim to provide clinical practice placements in aged care facilities/ acute hospitals when available.

Important info for international applicants (once we start accepting international students):

  • International students must hold a valid visitor visa or a work visa prior to start of this programme.

Start dates


Session Theory   Start  Theory finish  Clinical Start Clinical finish
Jan 2023

Four-week theory 
3 days a week.
Wed, Thurs, Fri 0900-1530


Six weeks 
Clinical placement 13/02/2023
Monday to Thursday 
May 2023 Four-week theory 03/05.2023
3 days a week
Wed, Thurs, Fri 0900-1530
26/05/2023 Six weeks 
Clinical placement
Monday to Thursday 
Sept 2023 Four-week theory 06/09/2023
3 days a week.
Wed, Thurs, Fri 
29/09/2023 Six weeks 
Clinical placement


Domestic students: $1,937.10 (incl. GST and student service fee)
International students (once we start accepting international applications): $9,870.00 (incl. GST)
Please note:
  • International applicants (once accepted) may need insurance for this short course. Please see our Insurance page for more information.
  • The fee you pay at enrolment covers tuition, class materials (if required), and a Student Services fee.
  • This short course is not eligible for a student loan and/or student allowance. 
  • If there are insufficient numbers registered for a course, Unitec reserves the right to postpone or cancel.

Application process

Please note: Future immunisations for COVID-19 may be required for all students in this programme.  

1. Click on apply now and fill in the application form for 'Competency Assessment Programme - Nursing'

Please note, if this programme is not available for application when you apply, this indicates it’s full. 

2. We'll be in touch within 3-5 working days to discuss your application. You’ll need to provide us with the following information via your Enrolment Dashboard:

  • Provide evidence of approved registration in a country other than New Zealand;
  • Provide a curriculum vitae (CV) that shows evidence of employment as a registered nurse for at least one year;
  • A written recommendation (from within the last 24 months) from the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) approving your qualification and outlining the requirement to complete a Competence Assessment CAP programme;
  • Certified copies of two forms of ID (one must be your passport and valid visa.
  • Self-declaration of criminal conviction(s) and any medical condition(s) (submitted electronically);
  • Consent to a safety check which meets the requirements of the Children Act 2014, including:
    • Consent to a NZ police vet check here;
    • Provide the contact details of two referees;
    • Participate in an interview;
  • Evidence of Police clearance from any country where you have lived other than New Zealand; 
  • Completed health screening, immune status (please provide a Medical Certificate), and medical declaration of fitness to practice – all signed by a doctor;
  • If English is your second language, evidence you meet this course’s English language requirements. Please refer to the Nursing Council of New Zealand website for more information Registration for International Nurses; 

3. A letter of acceptance will be sent to confirm your place on this course. Following this confirmation, payment must be made at least 5-7 days prior to the commencement of the course.  Places on this course are not confirmed until the fee is paid. We encourage you to enrol early as the class fills quickly.

4. Once accepted into the programme, you will be required to have a valid Level 2 First Aid certificate within 2 - 3 weeks of the course start date. The easiest way to obtain this is by taking Unitec's First Aid Certificate course - you can find more information about this here.

Apply now

More information

If you would like more information, please contact Student Central at 0800 10 95 10 or email

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