Registered Nurse Tapuhi Whai Rēhitatanga

Registered nurses assess, treat, care for and support patients in hospitals, clinics, residential care facilities and their homes.

Registered nurses may do some or all of the following:

  • assess, plan, co-ordinate and carry out nursing care to improve patients' health
  • administer patients' immunisations, medication and intravenous drugs
  • monitor and assess patients' conditions and record changes
  • visit and educate patients, their families and community groups about health needs, long term effects, and prevention of accidents and illness
  • work with other health professionals, community organisations, employers and government agencies to meet the needs of patients' caregivers, whānau and supporters.

Enrolled nurses provide care to patients under the direction of a registered nurse or nurse practitioner.

Charge nurses manage the ward, co-ordinate and hold responsibility of the nurses and multi disciplinary team (MDT).

Clinical nurse educators provide speciality education to nurses and staff.

Nurse practitioners are expert nurses in a specialist area of practice. They assess, diagnose and treat patients, and also prescribe medications. Some may run their own health clinics.

Plunket Nurse

To become a Plunket nurse you must complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Health Care Specialty Nursing (Level 8) through Whitireia New Zealand, after you have been working for six months as a registered nurse.

Practice Nurse

Practice nurses must have:

  • a current cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate
  • a certificate of competence in vaccinations or cervical screening, if they are performing those duties.

Physical Requirements

Registered nurses need to be reasonably fit, as they may have to spend long periods on their feet, and sometimes have to lift patients.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for registered nurses includes:

  • work with young children, families, the elderly or people with disabilities
  • social work
  • counselling
  • community support work
  • hospital-based work
  • health promotion or other health-related work
  • teaching.

Personal Qualities

Registered nurses need to be:

  • good at communicating
  • skilled at problem solving
  • organised
  • able to work well under pressure and remain calm in emergencies
  • able to keep information confidential
  • able to show compassion, and relate to people from various cultures and backgrounds
  • patient and helpful.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for registered nurses includes:

  • work with young children, families, the elderly or people with disabilities
  • social work
  • counselling
  • community support work
  • hospital-based work
  • health promotion or other health-related work
  • teaching.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include maths, English, biology, chemistry and physics.

Registered Nurses can earn around $47K-$68K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Registered Nurse are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

After at least five years working as a registered nurse you may progress to the positions of senior nurse or nurse manager, and manage other nurses.

Nurses usually specialise in an area such as:

Aged Care Nurse
Aged care nurses provide nursing care to the elderly in the community, as well as in residential aged care facilities, retirement villages and health care facilities.
Community Health Nurse
Community health nurses provide nursing care and education to individuals and groups in the wider community. They may specialise in a particular area of community health such as disease control, health promotion, caring for refugee families or housing project work.
Critical Care and Emergency Nurse
Critical care and emergency nurses work with patients following injury or surgery, or during the acute phase of diseases, in places such as intensive care units or emergency departments.
Mental Health and Addictions Nurse
Mental health and addictions nurses care for patients with emotional, mental and psychological problems. They may also specialise in crisis assessment or telephone triage, which involves assessing mental health needs and risks based on symptoms reported to them over the telephone.
Perioperative Nurse
Perioperative nurses care for patients before, during and immediately after surgery. They plan nursing care, maintain a safe and comfortable environment, assist surgeons and anaesthetists during surgery and monitor patients' recovery from anaesthetic before and after surgery.
Plunket Nurse
Plunket nurses provide support to parents by giving advice on childcare and parenting. They assess the health and development of children from birth up to the age of five.
Practice Nurse
Practice nurses work in general practitioners (GPs) surgeries and medical clinics, and may assist with immunisations, vaccinations and wound care, and provide general health advice.
Registered Nurse