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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.


Please note: We are currently only accepting applications from onshore domestic students for this programme. However, we may open this to offshore applicants in the future. 

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 the renewal of your annual practising 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 Lectures Clinical Placements
18 Jan 2023 - 24 Mar 2023

Classes from week of 18 Jan to 10 Feb. 3 days per week (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). All classes are from 9 am - 3.30 pm.

Clinical Placement from 13 Feb to 24 Mar. 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)

03 May 2023 - 07 Jul 2023 Classes from week of 03 May to 26 May. 3 days per week (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). All classes are from 9 am - 3.30 pm. Clinical Placement from 29 May to 07 Jul. 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
06 Sep 2023 - 10 Nov 2023 Classes from week of 06 Sep to 29 Sept. 3 days per week (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). All classes are from 9 am - 3.30 pm. Clinical Placement from 02 Oct to 10 Nov. 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)


Domestic Students: $1,937.10 (incl. GST and student service fee)

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 loans 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

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 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

Unitec is part of Te Pūkenga

On 1 October 2022 Unitec became part of Te Pūkenga. Find out more about Te Pūkenga and what this means for you.