Ara Institute Of Canterbury Bachelor Of Nursing

Nursing is a career that offers challenges and rewards to a wide variety of people.

Whether you are interested in fast paced, rapidly changing environments (such as emergency departments or intensive care units), rehabilitation (where people are recovering from serious illnesses), or the health promotion environment (working proactively with individuals and their communities), there is something for everyone in nursing.

The nature of the health workforce in New Zealand is shifting. As the population increases, the profile of people needing healthcare is changing – there will be a greater proportion of over 65s, higher incidence of chronic illnesses, and an increase in patients from a range of ethnic backgrounds. More health services will be delivered in the community rather than in hospital or institutional care.Are you seeking… an entry-level nursing qualification

If you’d like to gain a formal qualification in nursing, we offer these options:

Diploma in Enrolled Nursing

This 18-month diploma programme will enable you to apply for registration as an enrolled nurse with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

Bachelor of Nursing

This three-year degree programme will enable you to apply for registration as a Registered Nurse with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

Combined Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Health Sciences

This programme allows you to gain both a Bachelor of Nursing from Ara and a Master of Health Sciences from the University of Canterbury in just two years. To enrol in this programme, you must already hold a degree (in any subject).

Are you seeking… nursing or health-related professional development

If you have a Level 5 or higher qualification in nursing or a health-related field and you’d like to extend your knowledge or specialise in a particular area, we offer these graduate options:

Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice

This part-time programme enables you to use your existing knowledge and experience as a Registered nurse to develop your career in an area of expertise.  Most courses are delivered either as a three or five-day block course, although online options are also available.

Graduate Diploma in Nursing

If you’re an overseas educated Registered nurse, this programme is designed to equip you with the confidence and skills to plan and co-ordinate complex patient care. You can choose to complete the full time one year programme, or selected courses within it.

Are you seeking… to advance your career in nursing or health

If you have a degree in nursing or a health-related area and you’d like to extend your knowledge and skills for advanced practice in the health sector, we offer the following postgraduate options:

Postgraduate Certificate in Health Practice

You’ll graduate from this six month online programme with the confidence and skills to plan and co-ordinate multiple, complex patient care demands in your chosen specialisation.  

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Practice

This one-year online diploma is an interdisciplinary programme for qualified health professionals and health service managers. It will equip you with advanced practice knowledge and critical analysis skills.

Master of Health Science

If you’re a health practitioner or health manager, this programme will build on your specialist knowledge, enabling you to progress to management positions or enter into health teaching in your area of practice.  To achieve this degree you need to complete 180 credit within three years, including 60 credits at Level 9.

Master of Nursing

With this qualification you can extend your knowledge in the practice area in which you’re already working and gain a formal qualification in recognition of your professional development.  If you’re undertaking the nurse practitioner pathway, upon graduation you can apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for the Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice.

Are you seeking… to re-register as a nurse

If your nursing qualification has lapsed, or you gained it overseas and wish to practice in New Zealand, we offer these re-registration options:

Enrolled Nurse Competency Assessment Programme

After completion of the theory and clinical components of this full time nine-week programme and having successfully met the Nursing Council of New Zealand’s competencies for registration, you can apply to the Council for a current practising certificate.

Registered Nurse Competency Assessment Programme

If you’re an internationally qualified registered nurse or a New Zealand registered nurse returning to practice after five years or more, you can obtain a current practicing certificate through our Competency Assessment programme.


  • Study and Career Preparation – Health Pathway, Level 3
  • Study and Career Preparation – Pre-Health Pathway, Level 4
  • Competency Assessment Programme – Enrolled Nurse
  • New Zealand Diploma in Enrolled Nursing
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Nursing
  • Graduate Diploma in Nursing
  • Competency Assessment Programme – Registered Nurse
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Articulated with UC Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice (Nursing))
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Health Practice
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Practice
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Supervision
  • Master of Health Science
  • Master of Health Practice
  • Master of Nursing