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Master of Nursing

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Courses may have compulsory block courses/contact workshops. Please check each course for details.
  • 2 years full-time; or up to 6 years part-time
  • Not available for international students

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Details you need to know about the structure, courses and requirements for this programme.

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Entry requirements

Applicants must have one of the following:

  • Bachelor's degree with a minimum grade average of B over the 300 level courses
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing, with a minimum B grade average
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing, with a minimum B grade average

Applicants must have all of the following:

  • be a registered nurse with a practising certificate from the Nursing Council of New Zealand
  • Have completed at least two years of professional experience in a relevant nursing specialty within the previous five years

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Credits and prior learning

If you have completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing or Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing, you may apply for cross-credit for up to 60 credits or 120 credits, respectively.

NZ Nursing council requires that if your qualification is from an overseas institution (other than Australia) you will need to have it authenticated and assessed by NZQA before credit can be awarded.

Students cross credited with 60 credits must complete all remaining requirements within four calendar years.

Students cross credited with 120 credits must complete all remaining requirements within three calendar years.


Students who commenced the programme in 2016 or earlier and have completed at least 30 credits may be permitted course substitution beyond the normal limits.

Transition arrangements expire 31 December 2020.

Planning your programme

The Master of Nursing may be awarded with a class of honours for students who complete with sufficient merit within two years of full-time study or within five years of part-time study.

Maximum time-frame for completion of this qualification is six years.

Students must achieve at least a B grade average over the courses completed in Part One to progress to Part Two.

Students who do not meet this minimum standard may be exited with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing.

Nurse Practitioner Training Programme

Whilst a great many nurses in New Zealand have completed the required preparation for a clinical Master’s degree, relatively few have progressed to NP registration. To address this situation, The University of Auckland and Massey University have been awarded funding for the Nurse Practitioner Training Programme by Health Workforce New Zealand to be continued for 2020. This training programme seeks to increase coordination between potential NPs, their employers, tertiary education providers, and New Zealand Nursing Council. The aim is to align and promote NP preparation, registration and employment into a seamless pathway.

  Find out more about the Nurse Practitioner Training Programme

MN pathway for Nurse Practitioner (NP) applicants

  • This NP pathway is embedded in the MN programme already approved by CUAP and the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ)
  • The entry point to the final step of the pathway is a relevant Postgraduate Diploma (see entry criteria) and the completion point is a Master of Nursing (MN)
  • This pathway will be delivered over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.


  • Prepare advanced practice nurses for NP roles and NP registration
  • Provide a pathway within the approved MN programme that is specifically designed for prospective NPs
  • Support 500 hours of closely supervised supernumerary clinical time to practice the advanced nursing skills needed for NP registration, such as prescribing
  • Align New Zealand Nursing Council NP registration processes with NP education and subsequent employment
  • Employer commitment to hire NP once registered following successful completion of training programme.

Entry criteria

Nurses entering into the final NP MN year will have completed at least a Postgraduate Diploma and will undergo a formal application and acceptance process for training positions.

  • Four years clinical practice in a specific area of practice
  • Clinical nursing postgraduate diploma qualification with B average or higher
  • Written confirmation from employer indicating support for the student to enrol in the NP training programme, release for clinical supervision time and a commitment to hire the nurse upon NP registration
  • Written agreement from a prescribing health professional such as a Nurse Practitioner or Medical Provider to provide one to one clinical supervision.


Advanced Practicum in Nursing and Prescribing in Advanced Nursing Practice have three prerequisite courses which must be completed prior to enrolling in the final NP MN year:

  • 168.728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making
  • 168.733 Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • 168.734 Clinical Pharmacology


The NP pathway is embedded in the postgraduate nursing courses that already exist within those delivered in University of Auckland and Massey Schools of Nursing. Therefore the pathway is constructed from courses already developed and successfully taught and in a sequence that systematically builds the competencies required for NPs by the Nursing Council of New Zealand (2008).

The requirements for the entire MN are made up of three consecutive qualifications:

Postgraduate Certificate    →    Postgraduate Diploma    →    Master of Nursing

  • Students should complete the postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma (which includes advanced assessment, advanced pathophysiology and, advanced pharmacology).
  • They apply for acceptance in the Master of Nursing NP Training course (10 months in length full-time, February to November for clinical practicums). This programme includes two days a week of clinical practice for 10 months (500 hours of practice) with an employer who has committed to hiring the NP upon registration.
  • To successfully complete the NP training programme, the student is required to complete a NP portfolio and submit it New Zealand Nursing Council for NP registration
  • Nurses may transfer credits from another university either at a completed postgraduate certificate or diploma level.
  • Students on the NP pathway will complete a maximum of 120 credits to complete the final step – the MN.
  • Individual academic advice is essential for these nurses using transfer credit to ensure they receive case-by-case guidance for enrolment into the appropriate courses to meet equivalent learning outcomes of the courses named above.

Courses within each step NP Pathway (or variation depending on University regulations)

Nurses on the NP pathway must have already completed a postgraduate diploma that has included the following course content:

  • 168.728 Assessment and Clinical Decision-Making
  • 168.733 Physiology and Pathophysiology
  • 168.734 Clinical Pharmacology

The final step is the Master of Nursing which includes the following courses:

  • Evidence-Based Practice and Implementation (or variation)
  • Clinical Project (or variation)

University of Auckland: Plus two clinical practicums - taken in the final year of study consecutively

  • Advanced Nursing Practicum – advanced diagnostic reasoning and treatment planning (250 hours clinical practicum component) – 30 points
  • Prescribing in Advanced Nursing Practice (250 hours clinical practicum component) – 30 points

Massey University: Plus one 60-credit practicum

  • 168.860 Prescribing for Nurse Practitioner practice (500 hours clinical practicum component) - 60 credits

Clinical practice requirements

  • Students enrolled in the training programme must have commitment from employers to support them during the programme and also commit to hiring them at the conclusion of the programme. This can either be through the student’s existing workplace, or through other employers indicating an identified need for an NP position. 
  • Each student will be required to commit to supervised (by a current prescriber) clinical practice time of a minimum of 16 hours per week (500 hours total) over the year. This time must be outside (supernumerary) of the student’s non-prescribing work hours.
  • The employer who has committed to hire the student upon NP registration is reimbursed through Health Workforce New Zealand to fund the NP training students' clinical time.

Access to supervised clinical time must be negotiated by the student with their employer before acceptance into the pathway and written agreement from their current employer must be provided. The pathway coordinator will assist students to organise this with their employers.

Clinical supervision

  • Each student will be supervised in the clinical practice time in practicum courses by an appropriately qualified prescribing health professional (NP preferred).
  • The appointment of a clinical supervisor must be negotiated with partner NP employers prior to enrolment in the practicum.
  • The student must negotiate with their current employer prior to acceptance in the pathway with the support of the NP pathway coordinator.


For more information on the NP Training Programme, please contact the following representatives:

The University of Auckland
Nurse Practitioner Training Programme Project Coordinator
Sarah Beardsley
+64 9 923 8799

Massey University
Nurse Practitioner Training Programme Project Administrator


Several postgraduate courses in Nursing are delivered via ‘distance or block mode’ with compulsory face-to-face teaching in on-campus contact workshops, web-based teaching, relevant readings and other study material. This is designed to make the courses available to students in employment and located at a distance from the university.

Master of Nursing structure

Students are required to complete a total of 240 credits, including compulsory courses listed in part one, as shown in the course schedule.

These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates


All courses are 30 credits each unless otherwise indicated.

The Master of Nursing

A) All of the courses listed below (90 credits)

168.728 Clinical Assessment and Decision-Making 
168.733 Physiology and Pathophysiology
168.734 Clinical Pharmacology (pre-requisite course 168.733)

B) At least 30 credits from the courses listed below:

168.711 Health Research Design and Method (restricted against 168.810)
168.713 Evidence Based Practice

C) At least 60 credits from the courses listed below:

168.860 Prescribing for Nurse Practitioner Practice (minimum B grade required in pre-requisite courses 168.734 and 168.728)
168.861 Clinical Project (restricted against 168.851)
168.890 Research Report (minimum B grade in pre-requisite course 168.711 required)

D) Elective courses (maximum 60 credits):

Up to 60 credits from courses listed in the course schedule.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to discuss their programme structure with the MN Programme Coordinator to ensure that their needs are being fully met.

How much will it cost?

We can't tell you the exact cost until you have chosen your courses, as the tuition fees you pay each year vary depending on the courses you choose. There will also be compulsory non-tuition fees you have to pay in addition to your tuition fees. For some courses there may be other charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

To get an approximate idea of tuition costs for typical study areas, you can use our quick guide to programme fees.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our Fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Financial assistance

You might be eligible to apply for a scholarship or award. You can use our scholarship search to see what is available. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

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