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Public consultation on competencies for Enrolled and Registered Nurses

Tēnā koutou katoa,


Te Kaunihera Tapuhi o Aotearoa Nursing Council of New Zealand is seeking views on proposed changes to the competencies for Enrolled Nurses (EN) and Registered Nurses (RN), and amendments to the RN scope of practice.


The EN competencies have been reviewed to align with the new EN scope of practice [available here] that was approved by the Council in May 2023, but will not come into effect until mid-2024.


The RN competencies were last updated in 2016 so have been reviewed to ensure they remain relevant and reflect current nursing practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Due to the review of the EN scope of practice, we have made some amendments to the RN scope of practice.


The EN and RN competencies have been developed and reviewed by EN and RN design groups with members drawn from the Council, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation EN section, Te Poari o Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, Te Kaunihera o Ngā Neehi Māori, Māori and Pacific nursing leaders, Directors of Nursing, educators, and employers, including a series of wānanga with Māori nurses to guide the review of the cultural safety and Kawa Whakaruruhau guidelines. 

These groups have been responsible for developing the proposed changes to the EN and RN scopes of practice and competencies.


Project leads and some members of each design group have been across both projects to ensure the competencies reviews are aligned. Concepts have been tested through a broader sector reference group and wider sector engagement.


Given the rapidly changing nature of healthcare and service delivery, the proposed competencies are broad and flexible to be future-focused while at the same time supporting safe and quality care. They reflect the complexity of knowledge, judgement, and critical thinking required of nurses to support their practice in today’s healthcare environment.


We ask that you please share this consultation with your communities, colleagues, peers, and members. In addition to the current call for submissions, the Council will continue to seek wider sector engagement to hear a range of views and perspectives on the proposed changes.


Consultation is open until 5 pm Monday 12th February 2024.


Details on how to make a submission are available on the consultation page.


If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact us at


Ngā mihi nui


Catherine Byrne│Pouārahi - Pouroki / Chief Executive - Registrar


Te Kaunihera Tapuhi o Aotearoa│Nursing Council of New Zealand

PO Box 9644, Wellington 6141│Level 5, 22 Willeston St, Wellington 6011


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