HomeProgrammesNursingBachelor of Nursing

Bachelor of Nursing

Level 7

Let UCOL help give your nursing career the best start. It’s the personal approach from our industry experienced lecturers that sets us apart & gives our Bachelor of Nursing graduates an excellent professional reputation both here & overseas.

UCOL nursing learners learning at the campus
Quick info

Level: 7

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui, UCOL Wairarapa in Masterton

Duration: 3 years, full-time
43 weeks each year
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

Palmerston North
Y1 S1: 05 Feb 2024 – 29 Nov 2024
Y1 S2: 29 July 2024 – 23 May 2025
Y2 S1: 05 Feb 2024 – 29 Nov 2024
Y2 S2: 29 Jul 2024 – 25 May 2025
Y3 S1: 22 Jan 2024 – 15 Nov 2024
Y3 S2: 16 Sept 2024 – 13 Jul 2025

Y1 S1: 05 Feb 2024 – 29 Nov 2024
Y1 S2: 29 Jul 2024 – 23 May 2025
Y2 S1: 05 Feb 2024 – 29 Nov 2024
Y2 S2: 29 Jul 2024 – May 2025
Y3 S1: 22 Jan 2024 – 15 Nov 2024
Y3 S2: 16 Sept 2024 – 13 Jul 2025

Y1: 05 Feb 2024 – 29 Nov 2024
Y2: 22 Jan 2024 – 15 Nov 2024
Y3: 29 Jan 2024 – 15 Nov 2024

Y1: 10 Feb 2025 – 05 Dec 2025
Y2: 20 Jan 2025 – 14 Nov 2025
Y3: 27 Jan 2025 – 21 Nov 2025

Domestic Fees: *
Y1: 8,255.00 Y2: $8,255.00 Y3: $8,255.00

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$28,000.00 + Student Services Levy $591.00 per year.

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

Programme Development

The UCOL Bachelor of Nursing will provide you with learning opportunities that enable you to become an effective registered nurse who provides competent, comprehensive nursing care.

We have a team of lecturers to guide you through your nursing journey. They’ll support you through the curriculum, which includes up to 160 hours of clinical placements in your first year. Later in the programme, these clinical experiences include primary health care, medical and surgical, and mental health settings.

Is this you?

This programme is designed for:

  • School leavers with University Entrance
  • International students wishing to complete a Bachelor of Nursing degree in New Zealand
  • Internationally qualified nurses wishing to apply for registration as a nurse in New Zealand
  • Mature learners who are currently employed in the caring professions who wish to enhance their career opportunities by studying at a degree level
  • People returning to study from the workforce who are seeking a career in the nursing profession.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 43 weeks each year, including 5 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Year 1, 2 and 3 
4 to 12 hrs of lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings.

Work Time
Year 1: 4 days a week for a 5 week block placement, Monday-Thursday, morning and afternoon shifts only.
Year 2: 2 blocks of 6 week placements, 7 days a week on a rotating roster.
Year 3: 1 block of 3 weeks and then 1 block of 9 weeks, depending on your placement setting, could be 24/7 rotating roster shiftwork.

Study Time
11 to 17 hrs - study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of UCOL's Bachelor of Nursing may be employed in the following types of settings:
  • Hospitals
  • Community agencies
  • Māori health education
  • Iwi-based health centres
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government departments
  • Employment overseas
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries for Registered Nurses, see careers.govt.nz

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

This programme consists of 360 credits.

Year 1

Society And Health in Aotearoa/New Zealand (15 Credits)
Develop knowledge of the nature of health across the lifespan in Aotearoa/New Zealand and its relevance to nursing practice.

Professional Nursing: An Introduction (15 Credits)
An introduction to nursing, the associated knowledge base and the cultural safety framework for nursing practice.

Bioscience for Health Professionals (25 Credits)
Gain foundation knowledge of the normal form (anatomy) and function (physiology) of the human body and an understanding of the basic scientific components and concepts that underpin this.

Fundamental Skills for Nursing (25 Credits)
Develop a range of fundamental clinical practice skills required for safe and effective nursing practice.

Communication and Education for Professional Practice (20 Credits)
Develop skills and knowledge required for effective therapeutic communication and health teaching.

Clinical Practice (Introduction) (20 Credits, 160 hours of practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a practice setting at a novice level.

Year 2

Aotearoa/New Zealand Health Care System and Professional Practice (20 Credits)
Develop knowledge and understanding of the Aotearoa/ New Zealand health care system, the professional, ethical, legal and cultural safety responsibilities of Registered Nurses (RN’s) and the relationship to health outcomes.

Nursing Science and Practice Skills (35 Credits)
Develop knowledge of pathophysiology and pharmacology in relation to specific body systems and their application to nursing assessment and patient care. To further develop basic nursing skills that were taught in 513, and develop a range of clinical skills required by an advanced beginner nursing student to enhance effective nursing practice.

Person-centred Care: The Mental Health Context (15 Credits)
Develop an understanding of specific nursing skills necessary for the delivery of competent management of care. Assess and provide appropriate interventions for individuals and their whanau experiencing mental illness and distress.

Clinical Practice (Medical/Surgical) (25 Credits, 240 hours practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a medical/surgical practice setting at an advanced beginner level.

Clinical Practice (Mental Health) (25 Credits, 240 hours practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a mental health practice setting at an advanced beginner level.

Year 3

Primary Health Care (15 Credits)
Gain a deeper understanding of primary health care context and primary health care nursing across the lifespan.

Preparing for Registration: Promoting Practice Improvement and Lifelong Learning (15 Credits)
Prepare for your role as a new graduate registered nurse through the integration of theory and evidence-based practice, demonstrating an understanding of the potential professional and research-related contributions in contemporary nursing practice.

People with Acute and/or Complex Care Needs: A Partnership Approach (15 Credits)
Develop an understanding of the needs of patients/clients who require acute and/or complex care.

Chronic Conditions and Person-centred Care (15 Credits)
Develop an understanding of people with long-term health conditions and their personal experiences of their healthcare journey.

Clinical Practice (Primary Health Care) (24 Credits, 240 hours practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a primary health care setting at a competent level.

Clinical Practice (Transition) (36 Credits, 360 hours of practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a health care setting at a maintenance of competence level.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

The Nurse Education team have strong links with industry and learners have a wide range of clinical experience in mental health, medical/surgical, aged care and primary health environments across the three years of study.

 Learning Facilities

Our nursing, medical imaging, social services, and healthcare ākonga learn in Te Whaioranga, the purpose-built healthcare education centre for UCOL Manawatū. This state-of-the-art learning environment enables our nursing, medical imaging, social services and healthcare ākonga to learn across disciplines and functions, familiarising them with real-world practices and ensuring they become ‘workforce-ready’ graduates.

Wairarapa and Whanganui campuses have fully equipped simulation and skills labs. These simulation labs have the capability to run high-fidelity simulations using our mannequins and software to provide real-life and real-time responses to interventions. Our classroom spaces are flexible and able to accommodate all types of learning including online and blended delivery. This will prepare our ākonga with real-world practices, ensuring they become ‘workforce-ready’ graduates.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

General Admission Criteria
All applicants must meet the general admission criteria as approved by the Academic Board. In addition, all applicants are required to:

  • Declare any previous criminal convictions (including international convictions) prior to admission being confirmed. Convictions of any offence may not necessarily exclude applicants from enrolment; the decision is at the discretion of the Head of School; and
  • Authorise UCOL to obtain a background check from the New Zealand Police Licensing and Vetting Agency. If a conviction and/or a matter of concern is identified, the decision for accepting the applicant's enrolment onto the programme is at the discretion of the Head of School; and
  • Complete a Health Declaration Form; and
  • Provide certified copies of all relevant documentation.

Note: Before commencement of first clinical placement all learners must supply a current Comprehensive First Aid certificate.

The Head of School may require learners to provide additional information before admission is confirmed.

Applicants under 20 years of age:
Applicants under the age of 20 years must have University Entrance


Successful completion of the UCOL Certificate in Science and Health, Level 3 (for 2019 and 2020 Bachelor of Nursing intakes only). 


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean


Provisional enrolment, which is defined by NZQA as being Discretionary Entrance and includes the following clauses:

Discretionary enrolment may be granted to those applicants under the age of 20 who:

  • are a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand or Australia*, 
  • have received secondary schooling to at least New Zealand Year 12 level (or its equivalent overseas) and earned at least 14 credits in an approved subject at Level 2 towards NCEA (or its equivalent), and 
  • have met the literacy and numeracy standards required for University Entrance, or their equivalents, 

* Australian applicants’ most recent year of schooling must have been in New Zealand.

Applicants 20 years of age or over
A person having reached the age of 20 years before the first day of the programme in the year for which admission is sought, is not required to meet any of the academic qualifications above. Applicants will be required to meet the criteria for enrolment to study nursing and may be required to attend a conversation, as set out in the advice and guidance section, prior to their enrolment being accepted. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss their career goals, reasons for study, choice of study, possible challenges, and the support that is available for them at UCOL. 

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.5 in all bands (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).


For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

International learners will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure they meet New Zealand University Entrance requirements. In addition, in accordance with NCNZ (2017) and the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act [HPCA] (2003) requirements, all learners whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the general medium of instruction is not English, will be required to provide documentary evidence of proficiency in English (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

The minimum requirements are: 

Successful completion of an internationally recognised English Language proficiency tests to the equivalent of IELTS score of at least 6.5 (Academic) in all bands, achieved in one sitting authorised by the awarding body and which is within the preceding two years at the time the learner’s application is received and stamped by Registry; OR

Successful completion of all primary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand primary school years 1 to 8) and at least three years of secondary education (being the equivalent of three years from New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in  either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction; OR

Successful completion of at least five years of secondary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction; OR

Successful completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters’ Degree or Doctoral Degree, the language of instruction of which must be in English and which must be  from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States; OR

Exemption or waiver on the basis of equivalence; UCOL may offer an evaluative test to domestic leaerners (Citizens and NZPR) to determine equivalence.

The English Language requirements for this programme are higher than the minimum set by NZQA; therefore, applicants who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance may be required to provide evidence of English Language skills.

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

Entry to Nursing
Applicants for the Bachelor of Nursing may be required to attend a conversation with UCOL staff. The purpose of the conversation is to provide information to the applicant, to gauge motivation and support, and preparedness for study, and to inform teaching staff of the needs of the learner. (Refer to the  UCOL admission policy and variations). 

The UCOL Bachelor of Nursing is a full-time programme of study. In a typical week depending on whether you’re doing a clinical or theory course your time will be allocated to face-to-face/online learning (laboratory work, class), clinical placement, and self-directed learning. As you progress through your studies each year, the weighting of self-directed learning will increase to prepare you for life-long learning.

Clinical placements
Expect to work clinical placements on a 24/7 rotating roster basis (night shift and weekends included). Not all clinical placements are local, so also be prepared to travel. Clinical practice experiences will be undertaken in aged care, primary health and hospital-based settings. UCOL has formal contractual agreements with all agencies that offer clinical practice experiences for UCOL nursing learners, which are supported by agreed-upon policies and procedures (see "Work Placement/Work Experience section").

Prior to the commencement of the first clinical placement, all learners must supply a current Comprehensive First Aid certificate. This will incur a fee.

English proficiency
Permanent Residents whose first language is not English are required to undertake a Literacy and Numeracy Assessment for diagnostic purposes so that the appropriate advice and support can be provided before they commence the programme.

Safety check
UCOL will undertake a safety check of all learners after enrolment to ensure UCOL meets the legislative requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act, 2014.  UCOL will do this on behalf of Hospitals, District Health Boards, Primary Health Organisations and GP practices that host UCOL learners placements.  The safety check involves confirming the learner's work history, verifying their suitability to work with children with a trusted referee, and completing New Zealand Police vetting.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a learner believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relevant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • A completed Police Declaration Form
  • A completed Health Declaration Form
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

Please note thecosts you will need to budget forwith the Bachelor of Nursing:

Comprehensive First Aid Certification (required for the first year of the degree)

Learners must hold a current Comprehensive First Aid certification prior to going to their first clinical placement. You will need to arrange to complete this in your own time. The two main providers are NZ Red Cross (at a cost of $225), and St John ($249).

Clinical placements
Clinical placements are located in rural and urban areas in the MidCentral region of the North Island in New Zealand. This means that you may be required to do your clinical placement outside your enrolment location. You have to budget for the costs relating to travel, accommodation and meals for clinical placement.

Transport costs will vary according to the mode of transport and may include public transport, private car usage, and carpooling. An example of an approximate cost of petrol in a 1600cc car over 180 kilometres over five days could cost up to $80.00 or more.

Accommodation fees
These vary according to the types of accommodation available. Backpackers, Homestays, Student Hostels can be in the range of $50.00 - $120 per night.

Travel and accommodation costs are,

Year1: $1000 approx (If required)

Year2: $2000 approx (If required)

Year3: $2500-3000 approx (If required)

Required Items
For each year of the three-year degree there are specific items that you will need to provide. Please note that these are approximate costs. High quality and well maintained second hand items are more than acceptable. Please discuss with the Programme Leader or teaching staff.

E-books are available while you are enrolled.

First Year

  • Textbooks $597.00
  • Serology testing fee approximately $300.00
  • Shoes and skirt/trousers $200.00
  • Stethoscope/scissors/penlight $125.00 (wait until the start of the programme to purchase, as staff will give you the best advice).
  • Watch with second hand $40.00
  • First Aid Certificate $225

Second Year

  • Textbooks $780.00 (Textbooks are required or recommended and not sold through UCOL).
  • Stethoscope/scissors/penlight $125.00 (if not purchased in year one)

Third Year

  • Textbooks $95.00 (Textbooks are required or recommended and not sold through UCOL).
  • First Aid Certificate $225 (If required)

Clinical placements

Clinical placements are located in our health districts and you will be required to do your clinical placements across these health districts. Please click here for our health district information. You are responsible for the costs relating to travel, accommodation and meals for clinical placement.

State Final Examination Fees

State Final Examinations and Registration Fees are determined by the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ). The approximate cost is $240.00 per learner (subject to change) and payable by the student. This fee is paid at the time each student registers with the NCNZ for the State Finals Examination. This comes into effect from the 1 January 2023.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning, a business division of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.