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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.

Nursing students learning at the Wairarapa campus
Quick info

Level: 7

Locations: Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wairarapa

Duration: 3 years, full-time

Palmerston North
12 Feb 2018 - 14 Dec 2018
30 Jul 2018 - 7 Jun 2019

12 Feb 2018 - 14 Dec 2018

12 Feb 2018 - 14 Dec 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$7,363.00Scholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

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 you 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. 

For over 30 years, UCOL’s Nurse Education Team has ensured industry relevant education to prepare graduates for a professional career as a registered nurse.

Hear from 2017 graduate, Helena Pauro:


 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

The Nursing Context I: Society And Health (15 credits)
Develop knowledge of the nature of health across the lifespan in Aotearoa/New Zealand and its relevance to nursing practice.

Professional Nursing I: An Introduction (15 credits)
An introduction to nursing, the associated knowledge base and the cultural safety framework for nursing practice. 

Bioscience for Health Professionals I & II (15 credits each)
Gain sufficient learning experiences in human anatomy and physiology to form a foundation for practice in nursing and as a basis for progression to the Level 6 Nursing science courses.  

Skills for Nursing I: The Fundamentals (15 credits)
Develop a range of fundamental clinical practice skills required for safe and effective nursing practice.

Person Centred Care I: Communication Skills (15 credits)
Develop an understanding of interpersonal communication across the lifespan. 

Learning and Teaching for Professional Practice (15 credits)
Develop the skills and knowledge required for independent learning and effective teaching. 

Clinical Practice (Introduction) (15 credits, 160 hours practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a practice setting at a novice level. 

Year 2

The Nursing Context II: Health Care Systems (15 credits)
Develop knowledge of the New Zealand health care system and its relationship to nursing practice. 

Professional Nursing II: Practice Requirements (15 credits)
Develop a deeper understanding of the ethical, legal and professional obligations of a registered nurse.  

Nursing Science and Practice I (15 credits)
Develop knowledge of pathophysiology and genetics in relation to specific body systems and their application to nursing assessment/client care.   

Nursing Science and Practice II (15 credits)
Develop an understanding of pathophysiology and pharmacology in relation to further specific body systems and their application to nursing assessment/client care.   

Skills for Nursing II: Advancing Practice (15 credits)
Develop a further range of clinical skills required by advanced beginner nursing students for effective nursing practice.   

Person-Centred Care II: The Mental Health Context (15 credits)
Develop an appreciation of appropriate nursing care for patients/clients experiencing disruption to their mental health. 

Clinical Practice (Medical/Surgical) (15 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) (15 credits, 240 hours practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a mental health practice setting at an advanced beginner level. 

Year 3

The Nursing Context III: Primary Health Care (15 credits)
Gain a deeper understanding of primary health care nursing across the lifespan.

Professional Nursing III: Preparing for Registration and Beyond (15 credits)
Prepare for your role as a new graduate registered nurse and develop an understanding of the actual and potential contribution of nursing to health care delivery. 

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.   

People with Life-long Conditions: A Partnership Approach (15 credits)
Develop an understanding of the needs of patient/clients with long-term conditions.   

Skills for Nursing III: Evidence for Practice (15 credits)
Apply the principles of evidence-based practice to nursing. 

Person Centred Care III: The Health/Illness Experience (10 credits)
A focus on the individual experience of health/illness and the implications for cultural safety.

Clinical Practice (Primary Health Care) (15 credits, 240 hours practical experience)
Integrate theoretical and clinical learning within a primary health care setting at a competent level. 

Clinical Practice (Transition) (20 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.
The Head of School (Palmerston North or Regional) 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


Equivalent academic achievement


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 New Zealand or Australian citizens and permanent residents under 20 years of age
  • Must have a minimum of 14 credits in an approved subject at Level 2 towards NCEA
  • Must also have met the Literacy and Numeracy standards required for University Entrance
Cambridge International Examinations
120 points on the UCAS Tariff with a minimum grade of D in at least three subjects equivalent to those in the list approved for NZUEBS and NCEA at AS, A2 (or A) level ;  PLUS

A minimum D pass in IGCSE mathematics; PLUS

A minimum E pass in AS English. Candidates must meet the equivalent science requirements as specified for NCEA Level 2 International Baccalaureate (IB) equivalence

A minimum of 24 points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBPD) AND

Meet the literacy requirements by having at least four points in an English-rich subject in the IBDP AND 

Meet the numeracy requirements by having at least four points in mathematics in the IBDP or by meeting the necessary numeracy requirements by some other means.

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 however be required to meet the criteria for admission to UCOL to study at degree level, that is, NCEA level 3 or equivalent qualification, and  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 (2012b) 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

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.

Applicants for the Bachelor of Nursing will 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). 

Nursing Pathway
Note that successful completion of New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Nursing Pathway) enables you to be considered for entry into UCOL's Bachelor of Nursing, however it does not meet academic entry requirements of University Entrance. Application should be made and an independent evaluation will occur.

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).

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. 

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 that there are additional costs associated with the Bachelor of Nursing:

Clinical placements
Many of the available 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 undertake your clinical placement outside your enrolment location therefore you will have additional costs relating to your travel and accommodation.

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 used. Backpackers, Homestays, Student Hostels can be in the range of $50.00 - $120 per night. 

Required Items
For each year of the three-year degree there are specific items that you may wish to purchase. Please note that these are approximate costs.

First Year
  • Textbooks $800.00
  • Serology testing & MRSA $275.00 
  • Shoes and skirt/trousers $200.00 
  • Stethoscope/scissors/penlight $125.00 (wait until the start of your programme to purchase, as staff will give you the best advice).
  • Watch with second hand $40.00 
Second Year
  • Textbooks $800.00 (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 $100.00 (Textbooks are required or recommended and not sold through UCOL). 


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