Information for overseas nurses and midwives seeking employment in New Zealand

It can be difficult to move to a new country and to work in a different health care system.  The advice here is designed to assist internationally qualified nurses (IQN) planning to immigrate to New Zealand.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO)

NZNO is both a professional association and a registered trade union.  There are many benefits to being a member, including professional indemnity insurance.  When you arrive in New Zealand and become either a nursing student or employed in the health service, we advise you to join NZNO.

Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ)

NCNZ is the regulatory authority for nurses.  NCNZ is responsible for registering nurses in New Zealand. Visit the NCNZ page on international registration for information on registering as a nurse in New Zealand.

NZNO strongly recommends that you begin your registration application process before travelling to New Zealand. Make sure you meet the English language requirements and that NCNZ either confirm your registration or approval to enrol in a competency assessment programme.

Nursing Education in New Zealand

Nursing in New Zealand has three scopes of nursing practice: enrolled nurse (18 month second level nurse), registered nurse (three year baccalaureate programme) and nurse practitioner (registered nurse Masters prepared and meeting certain requirements).

For information on Nursing Education in New Zealand visit


Midwifery is a separate profession from nursing in New Zealand. The regulatory authority for midwives is the Midwifery Council of New Zealand.  Midwives may work in hospital maternity units or as Lead Maternity Carers. All maternity care is free.

New Zealand Health Sector

New Zealand has both publicly funded and private health services.

  • Fully funded by the government
    • District health boards – public hospitals and services
  • A mix of public funding and user pays services
    • Primary health care – community based general practices (PHC doctors and nurses), district nursing services, public health and some non-government organisations eg mental health and disability services.
    • Aged care services in residential care rest homes and hospitals
  • Private health services, covered by insurance or user pays
    • surgical hospitals

Finding employment

Nursing positions are advertised in local newspapers and on the internet. The two most popular places to look for work online are Trademe Jobs and

NZNO, as the professional association and registered trade union for nurses in New Zealand supports a large number of groups and activities. You can meet other nurses, develop your specialisms and gain local support. We look forward to meeting you, working with and for you.


If you are interested in moving to New Zealand you can read more about the immigration process at Find out about accommodation, healthcare, and lifestyle as well as practical information on New Zealand visas.