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Study Nursing in New Zealand: Guide for International Students

Updated on 10 February, 2024

Pragya Sharma

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

While many people know New Zealand because of sports, the country focuses highly on education and healthcare, specifically nursing. Nursing is the largest regulated health workforce in New Zealand, forming over 50% of the regulated workforce population. This builds a strong foundation for students looking for a career in Nursing. So, let us see what studying Nursing in New Zealand can bring to the table and what are the intricate aspects associated with it.

Why Study Nursing in New Zealand

Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career that offers numerous opportunities to work in various settings and roles, such as community health, public health, geriatric medicine, or mental health. Here are some of the top reasons why you should study Nursing in New Zealand:

  • You get to choose from different levels of education and practice scope, such as enrolled nurse, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner. This increases your chances of gaining practical knowledge.
  • Nursing courses in New Zealand aim to produce graduates with strong academic and practical skills in all areas of nursing. This ensures you gain quality education and skills and can help you land a better-paying job compared to others.
  • Most New Zealand universities are ranked in the top 3% of global universities. This further ensures that students will get a quality education.
  • You can pursue further research opportunities and academic careers in nursing, as New Zealand has many institutions offering doctoral programs in nursing.
  • You can attain a competitive advantage in the global healthcare job market, as New Zealand nursing qualifications are considered and respected internationally.
  • The income prospects are decent in New Zealand, with the average annual salary going up to $75,000 (INR 3,807,498).

Cost of Studying Nursing Courses in New Zealand 

For undergraduate programs, overseas students may have to pay between $28,000 and $39,211. For international master's students, the annual fees range from $32,500  to NZ$50,564. While domestic students mostly pay lesser fees than international students, it is usually the same for PhD. The fees for a PhD range from NZ$6,500 to NZ$9,000.

Nursing Courses in New Zealand: Admission Requirements

The eligibility requirements to study nursing in New Zealand vary depending on the level and scope of practice you wish to pursue. Some general requirements are as follows:

  1. To become an enrolled nurse, you must complete a Nursing Council-approved Diploma in Enrolled Nursing program (NZQA Level Five program) from a polytechnic or institute of technology.
  2. To become a registered nurse, you must complete a Nursing Council-approved Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Health Science program (NZQA Level Seven program) from a polytechnic, institute of technology, or university.
  3. To become a nurse practitioner, you must:
    1. Be registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand in the registered nurse scope of practice.
    2. Have a clinically focused master’s degree program approved by the Nursing Council of New Zealand or equivalent qualification.
    3. Pass a Nursing Council assessment of nurse practitioner competencies and criteria.
  4. For internationally qualified nurses or New Zealand registered nurses without a current practicing certificate, you may need to complete a Competence Assessment Program (CAP) before beginning work in New Zealand.
  5. You also need to meet the visa requirements of Immigration New Zealand (INZ), which may vary depending on your country and the purpose of your visit.

Top Universities for Nursing Courses in New Zealand 

Here are the top universities for nursing courses in New Zealand based on the QS Rankings:


QS Rankings by Subject 2023: Nursing

QS World University Rankings 2024

The University of Auckland



University of Otago



Massey University



Auckland University of Technology



Other universities where international students can pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Nursing include Wintec University and Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Career Prospects After Pursuing Nursing in New Zealand

Below are some high-paying jobs that nursing graduates can expect in New Zealand, along with their average annual salaries.

Job Role

Average Annual Salary

Nursing Manager

NZ$72,000 - NZ$112,000 

Registered Nurse

NZ$53,000 - NZ$86,000 

Clinical Nurse Manager

NZ$78,000 - NZ$113,000 

Rehabilitation Nurse

NZ$65,000 - NZ$158,000 

Nurse Administrator

NZ$72,000 - NZ$160,000

Critical Care Nurse

NZ$54,000 - NZ$91,000 

Certified Nurse-Midwife

NZ$ 96,411 - NZ$171,102

Research Nurse

NZ$44,000 - NZ$96,000 

Source: Pay Scale, January 2024


Studying nursing in New Zealand offers a mix of challenging academics, diverse cultures, and opportunities to contribute to healthcare. Whether you want to be a nurse, specialize in a certain medical area, or do research, New Zealand provides a supportive and enriching learning experience.

Read More:


How long does it take to complete a nursing program in New Zealand?

A full-time student can complete the Bachelor of Nursing in New Zealand in three years through a progressive sequence of six semesters of study.

How is the healthcare system in New Zealand different from other countries?

New Zealand's healthcare system is a universal public system that offers free or low-cost care to all residents. The system is government-funded (nearly 85%) and ranks among the world's top 25 healthcare systems in 2023. New Zealand's healthcare system is divided into public, private, and voluntary sectors. 

Can I work part-time while studying nursing in New Zealand?

Yes, international students may work while studying nursing in New Zealand. Students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during scheduled holidays. The average hourly wage for registered nurses in New Zealand is NZD 33.00.

How many hours do nurses work in New Zealand?

Typically, registered nurses work eight- to twelve-hour shifts, which may include weekends, public holidays, and nights. Most nurses who work in hospitals or the community put in 40 hours a week. 

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

Pragya Sharma is a content developer and marketer with 6.5+ years of experience in the education industry. She started her career as a social media copywriter for NIELIT, Ministry of Electronics & IT, and has now scaled up as a 360-degree content professional well-versed with the intricacies of digital marketing and different forms of content used to drive and hook the target audience. She is also a co-author of 2 stories in an anthology based on the theme- women empowerment.

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