New Zealand Diploma in Enrolled Nursing.xml New Zealand Diploma in Enrolled Nursing

A-Z study guide
A photo of some students with a sim man on a hospital bed

DiplomaFull-time, 18 months

Programme code








Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

10 February for March start


Christchurch – Manawa campus, with satellites based in Nelson/Marlborough, West Coast and Timaru

Annual Fees(indictive 2020)


$6,930 - $7,450



Course related costs

Uniform, equipment and costs associated with placement such as travel and accommodation. Costs will vary.

About this programme

Gain the skills and knowledge needed to help meet the growing demand for nurses in New Zealand.

Got questions about studying nursing at Ara? Get the answers to frequently asked questions here .

If you'd like to gain a formal qualification in nursing, this full-time, 18-month diploma programme will equip you with the theory and clinical nursing practice required to apply for registration as an enrolled nurse with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.*

Your study comprises of a combination of theory, practice in simulated environments and clinical placements in different health care settings. Practise your skills in different nursing contexts such as rehabilitation, acute care and mental health while studying the fundamentals of nursing and the human body.

Your clinical practice may not all be within Christchurch and may include placements in the West Coast, Marlborough, Ashburton and North Canterbury. Clinical placements will require you to work shift work starting and finishing anytime from 6.30am - 11.30pm. Theory classes are timetabled between 8am - 4pm Monday to Friday.

Following completion of the New Zealand Diploma in Enrolled Nursing, graduates must pass the NCNZ registration examination and meet other criteria to be issued with a practising certificate and be able to work as an enrolled nurse.

*This programme is also available to students based in Nelson, Marlborough, South Canterbury and the West Coast. Please note: students based in these areas are required to attend five compulsory workshops (totalling five weeks) in Christchurch at specific times during the 18-month programme. There is also a compulsory two-week orientation at the commencement of the programme. You can learn more here .

Career opportunities

As a graduate of the programme (who also meets Nursing Council of New Zealand requirements) you will be competent to practise as a beginning level enrolled nurse under the direction and delegation of a Registered Nurse in a variety of health care settings such as hospitals, community aged care facilities, iwi and Māori trusts, mental health and other health care facilities.

Study pathways

Upon competing this diploma you can take your professional nursing career to the next level with our Bachelor of Nursing.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Mathematics

Programme structure

To complete this Diploma you are required to complete 180 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • NCEA Level 2 which must include 12 credits in Level 1 Mathematics


    New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) Ara Health Pathway or equivalent

    If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you need to:

    • provide a first aid certificate (Red Cross Comprehensive or St John's Workplace) which is current at the time the programme starts.
    • provide evidence of good character and personal attributes via two referee report(s). Your referee reports, personal statement and interview (if required) should provide evidence of appropriateness to study in the nursing profession. In your personal statement you should outline why you have chosen nursing as a career and describe personal qualities and relevant aspects from your life experiences which will enhance your application.
    • meet various Health Authority requirements in order to participate in the clinical components of the programme. Currently, MRSA clearance is required by most clinical practice areas.
    • buy a uniform.
    • Consent to Disclosure of Information Successful applicants will be required to complete a New Zealand Police Consent to Disclosure of Information form. The form will be sent to the Police Licensing and Vetting Service, and returned in confidence to the Head of Department. Information on the NZ Police Vetting Service is available from the New Zealand Police website.
    • you may be required to attend an interview if you meet academic entry criteria.
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart .


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    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.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Where applicants exceed available places, selection will be based on one or more of the following: evidence of interest, motivation, academic achievement, referees' reports and relevant regional considerations.

You will be notified in writing and asked to confirm your place on the programme.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an application form
  • complete an enrolled nursing application pack

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.