How to Study Nursing in New Zealand for International Students

What is it that makes the role of a nurse so special? A nurse is not just a person who takes care of patients and relieves their pain. A nurse is a qualified professional who is willing to give recommendations on how to manage health and educate patients as well as their relatives and family members.

New Zealand provides many opportunities to start a career in nursing. Moreover, the status of a nurse differs depending on the type of training and/or education completed. In general, there are registered and enrolled nurses. Enrolled Nursing Diploma is a beneficial option for those who do not have time for full-time bachelor courses. Enrolled nurses earn less than registered nurses, but they can continue their studies anytime they want and get a higher degree qualification.

The system of nursing education in New Zealand is slightly different than in European countries. Before starting to practice as a nurse, all graduates are obliged to undergo the process of assessment and special examination by the Nursing Council.

There are many other aspects to learn and remember about studying and working as a nurse in New Zealand. They may seem minor, but the truth is that they are very important. Those who know about them have more chances for a successful career in the position of a nurse in New Zealand.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in New Zealand?

Despite the existence of enrolled nursing courses, educational programs allowing students to get the status of a registered nurse are rather popular. Currently, Bachelor Nursing programs are offered by the University of Auckland, Massey University of New Zealand, Unitec Institute of Technology, and Auckland University of Technology.

Several programs of further education and excellence in the field of nursing are also available. If you are interested in Master’s Degree programs, check the courses offered by the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington.

Besides, Victoria University offers one program for applicants willing to obtain a doctorate, which is the highest academic degree.

Cost of Studying Nursing

All educational programs offered by the universities of New Zealand imply tuition fees that students pay each year. On average, tuition fee for international students studying nursing bachelor’s degree courses varies from 24,000 to 37,000 New Zealand dollars. Learn more about tuition fees on the official pages of Massey University, Unitec Institute of Technology, and Auckland University of Technology.

Students studying to obtain a postgraduate degree are expected to pay around 29,000 New Zealand dollars per year. For example, check the tuition fees for the postgraduate course offered by Victoria University.

Some universities may charge a compulsory student fee of around 800 – 900 New Zealand dollars per year. The fee covers various student services, including sports, legal/financial advice and employment information. Check the information about Additional fees on the official websites of the University of Auckland, Unitec Institute of Technology, and Victoria University of Wellington.

All fees can be paid either in a bank or online. Students paying for the studies online may be charged additionally for the bank transfer process.

Requirements to Study Nursing

Programs offering specialization and degrees in the field of health are in demand. Therefore, universities recommend all applicants start the application process as early as possible.

In order to be admitted, foreign applicants must meet the basic requirements. Apart from a filled-in application form, other documents are required. For example, a certificate proving solid knowledge in biology, chemistry, and physics. Besides, applicants may be asked to attend an interview or do certain admission exercises. Further information can be found on the Admission and Entry Requirements pages of Auckland University, Massey University, and Unitec Institute of Technology.

Some universities have special entry requirements for international students depending on their home country. For example, check the Requirements page of Auckland University of Technology.

The application process for universities in New Zealand can be a bit challenging. To help you with this process, we’ve compiled a guide on How to Study in New Zealand for International Students. So, learn about the process if you are unsure!

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in New Zealand?

Most often, all courses are taught in English. Applicants whose mother tongue is not English, need to prove their proficiency in the language. TOEFL and/or IELTS Certificates of Proficiency are accepted. Learn more about the English Language Proficiency Certificates on the official websites of Victoria University of Wellington and Auckland University of Technology.

Best Nursing Schools in New Zealand

1. The University of Auckland

  • Nursing Program Link: Bachelor/Master
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master

The nursing school in New Zealand sees teaching and endowing its students with knowledge as the main priority. The staff of this higher education institution is also engaged in research activity. The results of researches are later applied so that to make society’s life better.

Both the bachelor and master nursing programs are meant to help applicants get knowledge and develop skills necessary for registered nurses. The master’s degree program will be interesting for those who aim to get a deeper insight into the profession of a nurse.

2. Massey University of New Zealand

The main idea behind the bachelor nursing course offered by the university is to educate professionals able to solve complicated medical issues. Lecturers with practical experience and intensive use of innovative techniques throughout the teaching process result in high-quality education renowned internationally.

3. Unitec Institute of Technology

The program is inspired by the unique vision of this nursing school in New Zealand as far as the education of future nurses goes. The vision implies that theoretical knowledge and practical experience are not the only components necessary to achieve success in the field of nursing.

Therefore, throughout the studying process students are provided opportunities to develop critical thinking. Besides, lecturers pay special attention to research methods and practice. All these aspects combined will serve as a solid basis for career-building as a nurse.

4. Victoria University of Wellington

  • Nursing Program Link: Master/Doctor
  • Degrees Offered: Master, Doctor

The University was established over a century ago, with only one campus building and around 115 students. Hard work and consistent efforts of its teachers created a path for growth and improvement. At present, Victoria University has the status of the best research university in New Zealand and offers a wide range of educational programs.

Special attention should be paid to the Doctor of Nursing program lasting for 5 years. The course is offered in full-time and part-time formats, which is very convenient for students because they can study and continue working.

The first part of the course (2 years) involves mainly workshops and lectures offered in blocks several times a week. The second part (3 years) focuses on research and thesis writing.

5. Auckland University of Technology

The final nursing school in New Zealand is Auckland University of Technology. This full-time course at this institution aims to educate professionals able and willing to contribute to the development of the healthcare system. Upon completing the first two semesters, students will gain knowledge in a set of subjects related to health and healthcare.

Throughout the second year of studies, more specific subjects are introduced to help learn more about nursing. Moreover, students get practical experience while doing clinical practice.

The last two semesters are devoted mainly to the development of clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. Throughout this year, students learn more about the complexity of caring for patients of different ages.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Australia Scholarships Page.