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Bachelor 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 and gives UCOL’s Bachelor of Nursing graduates an excellent professional reputation both here and overseas.

A photograph of a nursing students 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

Palmerston North

Year 1: 08 Feb 2021 - 05 Dec 2021
Year 2: 08 Feb 2021 - 05 Dec 2021
Year 3: 01 Feb 2021 - 28 Nov 2021

MYear 1: 26 Jul 21 - 22 May 22
MYear 2: 02 Aug 21 - 05 Jun 22
MYear 3: 30 Aug 21 - 26 Jun 22

Year 1: 09 Feb 2021 - 03 Dec 2021
Year 2: 25 Jan 2021 - 15 Nov 2021
Year 3: 01 Feb 2021 - 19 Nov 2021

MYear 1: 19 Jul 21 - 28 May 22
MYear 2: 02 Aug 21 - 20 May 22
MYear 3: 27 Sep 21 - 22 Jul 22

Year 1: 09 Feb 2021 - 03 Dec 2021
Year 2: 25 Jan 2021 - 19 Nov 2021
Year 3: 01 Feb 2021 - 19 Nov 2021

Domestic Fees: *
$7,711.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*

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.

UCOL's Bachelor of Nursing will provide you with learning opportunities that enable you to become an effective registered nurse, providing competent, comprehensive nursing care.
When you enrol in UCOL’s Bachelor of Nursing programme you'll be assigned your own personal tutor to guide you right 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 will include primary health care, medical and surgical, and mental health settings.

Is this you?

This programme is designed for:

  • School leavers with University Entrance
  • Graduates of New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Nursing Pathway)
  • 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 degree level
  • People returning to study from the workforce who are seeking a career in the nursing profession.

New curriculum for 2019
UCOL's Bachelor of Nursing programme has a refreshed curriculum starting in 2019 to prepare students for the ever changing environment of health care delivery in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and internationally where New Zealand registration is recognised. The curriculum is designed for our graduates to contribute knowledgeably and be well prepared to work in all areas of health delivery.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • 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, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Registered Nurses.

 Course Information

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 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 2 - Elective course for internationally qualified nurses

Special Topic: Professional Nursing in Aotearoa (15 Credits)
Develop knowledge of the nature of health across the lifespan in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the New Zealand health care system, and the cultural safety framework and its relevance to nursing practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

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 patient/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 health care 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 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 students 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

Simulation, Nursing skills and Science labs

 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 students must supply a current Comprehensive First Aid certificate.

The Head of School may require students 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. In some instances, applicants may be advised to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Nursing Pathway) available through UCOL. Note that completion of this Certificate does not meet academic entry requirements of University Entrance.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

International students 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, international students 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).

English Proficiency Entry Requirements:
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS with a score of 6.5 (Academic) in all bands, (or equivalent, including TOEFL), achieved in one sitting authorised by the awarding body and which is within the preceding two years at the time the student’s application is received and stamped by Registry. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre


Successful completion of New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 5) (Academic).

Applicants under 20 years of age:
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

UCOL's three-year Bachelor of Nursing programme comprises 360 credits.
Nursing Pathway
Applicants over 20 years of age, without evidence of science or mathematics achievement, will be encouraged to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Nursing Pathway). This enables you to be considered for entry into UCOL's Bachelor of 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 student. (Refer to UCOL’s admission policy and variations). 
UCOL’s 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 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 both primary health and hospital-based settings. UCOL has formal contractual agreements with all agencies that offer clinical practice experiences for UCOL nursing students, which are supported by agreed upon policies and procedures (see "Work Placement/Work Experience section).
Prior to the commencement of first clinical placement all students 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 students 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 which host UCOL student placements.  The safety check involves confirming the student’s work history, verifying their suitability to work with children with a trusted referee, and completing New Zealand Police vetting.
New curriculum for 2019
From January 2019, all new students commencing the Bachelor of Nursing will be enrolled in the 2019 Bachelor of Nursing curriculum. Students who commenced their study prior to 2019 will complete their degrees in accordance with a transition plan. Students who enter the programme via other means such as under RPL, returning students, transferring students, or students returning after a break will receive a personalised study plan after an evaluation.
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 student believes they can demonstrate specified competencies.
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.

 Additional Costs

Please note the costs you will need to budget for with the Bachelor of Nursing:

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

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. 

First Year
  • Textbooks $597.00
  • Serology testing & MRSA fee $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). 
  • MRSA testing $120.00 (up to) (if previously positive or DHB changes policy) 
  • Stethoscope/scissors/penlight $125.00 (if not purchased in year one)
Third Year
  • MRSA testing $120.00 (up to) (if previously positive or DHB changes policy) 
  • Textbooks $90.00 (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.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.