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Competency Assessment Programme - Return to Nursing

This course is designed to meet the needs of New Zealand qualified Registered Nurses planning to return to practice after a break in service.


This course is designed to meet the needs of New Zealand qualified Registered Nurses returning to contemporary nursing practice after five years or more out of practice. Successful completion of this course will enable you to apply for renewal of your annual practicing certificate.

The duration of this course is 12 weeks, and a mix of full and part-time study, to enable some flexibility for students. 

First you’ll complete six weeks of theoretical study, 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're able to provide clinical practice placements in acute, primary or aged care facilities only.

Start dates

From - To Lecture Format Clinical Placements
20 Jan 2021 - 02 Apr 2021

Please note: This intake is now full.

The first 5 weeks are part-time. Weeks 1 and 2: 3 days per week (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). Weeks 3, 4 and 5: 2 days per week (Wednesday and Friday). All classes are from 9am - 3.30pm.

22/2/21 to 02/4/21: 8 hour shifts, Monday to Thursday.

05 May 2021 - 23 Jul 2021

The first six weeks are part-time with classes running two days a week (Wednesday and Friday). All classes are from 9am - 3.30pm.

14/6/21 to 24/7/21: 8 hour shifts, Monday to Thursday.

08 Sep 2021 - 26 Nov 2021

The first six weeks are part-time with classes running two days a week (Wednesday and Friday). All classes are from 9am - 3.30pm.

18/10/21 to 26/11/21: 8 hour shifts, Monday to Thursday.


Domestic Students: $1837.80

The fee you pay at enrolment covers tuition, class materials (if required) and a Student Services fee. This short course is not eligible for student loan and/or student allowance. All fees include GST. If there are insufficient numbers registered for a course Unitec reserves the right to postpone or cancel.

View additional costs that may be required (pdf).

Application process

1. Click on apply now and fill in the application form for the '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 48 hours to discuss your application. You’ll need to provide us with the following information via your Enrolment Dashboard:

  • 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 12 months) from the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) outlining the requirement to complete a CAP programme
  • Certified copies of two forms of ID 
  • 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, if required
  • 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

3. A letter of acceptance will be sent to confirm your place on this course. Following this confirmation, payment must be made at least 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 5 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 on 0800 10 95 10 or email