Important Updates on Competency Testing for Nurses Migrating to New Zealand

Important Updates on Competency Testing for Nurses Migrating to New Zealand

Changes Ahead: CAPS vs. OSCE

CAPS System (Old):

  • Required completion of a 10-week Competency Assessment Programme.
  • Documentation of education and employment history was extensive.
  • Minimum practice requirement of two years for Internationally Qualified Nurses (IQNs).

OSCE System (New):

  • From 2024 onward, an online competency test will replace the long process of requesting qualifications.
  • An in-person clinical exam, the OSCE, will be mandatory.
  • All IQNs must learn about cultural competency before practicing in New Zealand.

Key Highlights:

CAPS System (Old):

  • Comprehensive but time-consuming.
  • Some nurses found the 10-week CAPs courses costly.
  • Documentation requirements were extensive.

OSCE System (New):

  • Direct competence assessments aim to reduce documentation.
  • Minimum practice requirement for IQNs dropped from two years to one.
  • Cultural competency training is a new requirement.

Transition Period:

It’s crucial to note that nurses applying up to 4 December 2023 will not be affected by the OSCE system changes. If you have already applied for registration with documents verified by CGFNS or can apply before the new process is implemented, these changes will have no immediate impact on you.

The Nursing Council’s goal is to expedite registration and employment for overseas-trained nurses while upholding public safety. We understand that change can be challenging, and we are here to support you through this transition.

For those requiring a competence assessment under the new system:

  1. Complete an online theoretical exam testing nursing knowledge.
  2. Attend a two-day orientation and preparation course.
  3. Undergo the OSCE, a three-hour clinical examination in New Zealand.

We appreciate your commitment to delivering high-quality healthcare, and we believe these changes will enhance the process for all involved.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Wishing you continued success in your nursing journey!

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