This is just a warning for nurses wanting to immigrate to NZ. I have had a horrible experience with the nursing council there. I hope that in sharing my story that maybe others can avoid all of the heartache, expense and stress that this process has caused.
I have an associate degree in nursing and have been practicing as a nurse here in the US for about 10 years. (In the US there is no real difference in practice between an associate RN and someone with a Bachelors RN. In fact there are also many nurses with "hospital" based training that have been nurses for a long time. We all get registered as RNs.) I called the nursing council in NZ about 7 months ago to inquire about registering and whether having an associate RN would be an issue and was told that it should not be a problem since I have 10 years of acute care experience. My husband and I went to NZ in January, I interviewed for a job and again asked during the interview whether this would be a problem. I was given the same answer---no, should not be a problem because I have acute care experience. In the meantime, I was given a job offer, we sent in the EOI, got an offer to apply, arranged everything to bring our 2 cats and 1 dog over (many of you know that this is very expensive---and deposits are required), we also put an offer in on property over there etc. I finally got a response to my application from the nursing council---they were not going to issue me a nursing registration because of only having an associate degree in nursing regardless of 10 years nursing experience. I was able to talk with my prospective nurse manager over there who had called the nursing council and was "pretty sure" that the nursing council would issue me an RN after I sent them even more documentation ( you wouldnt believe all of the letters from every employer Ive had---my last job review from my current boss etc etc) and the hospital in Dunedin said they would back me up. Well, to make a long story even longer (sorry for this), I just called the nursing council this evening after they reviewed my application again and was told that I would have to go to NZ, sign up for college classes, go for 6 weeks full time or 21 weeks part time, and depending on how I did they would then issue me a license. Of course, I would'nt be able to work through this. (The nursing council so generously offered to write a letter to immigration--since we had to send in our application 2 weeks ago without a registration) As a result of all of this we have decided not to go to NZ. I did not realize what an administrative nightmare it would be. So any nurses out there be forewarned!! It has been an expensive and heartbreaking lesson.