Find out What The Steps Are To Become a Nurse in New Zealand 

Filcare will guide you through this process

If you want to come to New Zealand and work as a nurse, there are a number of steps to go through. Filcare is here to guide you through that process whether you are planning ahead or have already started. We will be here to give you full support from starting your search, through to getting a job and settling in New Zealand.

Step 1:
Sit the English Language Test – OET/IELTS
Step 1: Join Filcare

Filcare is here to help guide you through the process and below is a general overview.

The process can change from time to time and sometimes you will need specific advice. The process shown below is for general overview only.

Join Filcare to receive a full pdf of the complete process and to receive regular updates

Step 2: English language test

The current requirement is to pass a OET or IELTS test at professional level. Please note that the English language test is only valid for up to 24 months.  Please contact us for more information.

Step 3: Credential verification

If you are an Internationally Qualified Nurse (IQN) who wants to practice in New Zealand, you must first have your identity, academic and professional credentials and nursing employment verified by CGFNS International Inc.

CGFNS will prepare a report for you to review and authorise to be sent to the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

Step 4: Submit CGFNS report to the Nursing Council

When you have reviewed the report from CGFNS you then request them to submit this to the Nursing Council of New Zealand on your behalf.

You will receive an email inviting you to apply online for registration – this may take up to three working days.

Step 5: Apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ)

Apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ). They will assess your application against New Zealand registration requirements.

This application may also require you to declare your fitness for registration and submit a criminal history check – note that police checks are only valid for 6 months.

It is likely that NCNZ will require you to complete a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP) before you can apply for registration. Filcare can help you with this step.


Step 6: Enrol with a CAP provider

If the NCNZ requires you to complete a CAP, Filcare can help you select a provider and enrol for your course. When choosing a date please ensure you allow time for your Visa application to be processed, which could be up to 47 days.

Step 7: Apply for a Visa to enter New Zealand

Apply for your Visa online. There are a number of Visa options that you can check on

Step 8: Complete Pre-Registration Courses (Cultural Safety)

Learn about New Zealand culture and the Treaty of Waitangi. Access the course

Step 9: Arrange accommodation

Some CAP providers include accommodation (at cost), however, this is not always the case. If accommodation is not offered, or provided, you will need to make suitable arrangements – Filcare may be able to help you with this too.

Step 10: Book your travel to New Zealand

When your Visa is approved you can then book your flights to New Zealand, other ongoing local travel, and confirm your living arrangements.

Step 11: Complete your CAP

Attend your CAP course and practicum as required. On successful completion of the CAP course the provider will issue a confirmation letter to confirm that you have attained the required standards.

Step 12: Apply for your Annual Practicing Certificate

Once you have your letter from your CAP provider you can apply to NCNZ for your Annual Practising Certificate (APC). It will take approximately 24 hours to receive this.

Step 13: CAP Reimbursement

Apply for CAP reimbursement.

You are now legally registered to practice as a Nurse in New Zealand!

During the whole process above, Filcare will be working with you to find a suitable employer so that you can start work and enjoy your new home.

We will be assisting you along your journey so that you are feeling settled as soon as possible. We are here to support you with all sorts of information about life in New Zealand.

Once you have secured your registration and a permanent full time position as a Nurse, you will then be able to apply for your Direct to Residence Visa (Green List pathway).

Enjoy your new home and work life in New Zealand!