Bachelor of Nursing – BN

Make a difference in someone’s life every day. Nursing offers diverse employment positions, and many options for professional development and postgraduate study.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 year(s) full-time (360 credits)

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Wellington campus
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Selected entry programme

Study a Bachelor of Nursing – BN

Note: This qualification is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to be fully vaccinated including a booster dose, as they will have frequent contact/engagement with those providing health services and is considered tied to a role within a healthcare setting. Students will need to provide details of their vaccination status including a booster dose on enrolment.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Nursing at Massey University are dynamic, adaptable and critical thinkers.

The Bachelor of Nursing includes science and social science courses related to health which are integrated into nursing knowledge.

Clinical learning takes place in many different areas including surgical, emergency, medical, mental health and primary care services.

You will become a knowledgeable and skilful professional nurse, contributing to the health of individuals and communities.

What is a nurse?

  • A professional in the healthcare field who combines the art of caring and compassion with scientific skills and knowledge.
  • A professional who leads care for people who are facing an urgent or ongoing health issue.
  • An educator of people on the issues of healthy living and wellness.
  • A professional who undertakes all aspects of assessment and treatment in partnership with other health professionals.

More compelling reasons to join us in nursing

  • Our graduates are sought after and work ready.
  • Massey’s nursing qualification is taught by the largest number of highly qualified nursing lecturers in the country.
  • We are the only university in the country offering you our undergraduate nursing degree on three different campuses – Auckland, Manawatū and Wellington. We work with multiple stakeholders in healthcare.
  • Our contemporary, research-led qualifications are approved by the New Zealand Nursing Council. 
  • Our graduates are work-ready and sought after to meet the health needs of people, whanau and communities.

Nursing simulation suites

We offer contemporary clinical simulation in our new clinical suites. Each suite is different, but most have a mock hospital setting and two-way observation spaces. They also have standard nursing equipment for hospital and community work. You will learn and practice nursing skills through role-play, case studies and simulations using state-of-the-art manikins.

Empathy Labs

You will participate in Empathy Labs by wearing special suits. These simulate what it's like to attempt normal daily tasks after suffering a stroke, or the restrictions of declining health.

Further study

Many of our Bachelor of Nursing graduates continue with their studies after qualifying as registered nurses by undertaking a master’s degree in nursing. A number of our Master of Nursing graduates have successfully gained registration as nurse practitioners with prescribing rights. We can also offer you a PhD in nursing.

A BN is a good fit if you:

  • want to make a difference in someone’s life every day 
  • want to be the health professional most often present with people at their most vulnerable
  • want to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families/whānau, community and the nation.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

This is a ‘selected entry’ qualification. This means as well as applying you will need to provide additional material as part of your application. 

To enter the Bachelor of Nursing you will hold a current First Aid Certificate from an approved provider.

You will be selected into the qualification on the basis of a process which includes providing:

  • a personal supporting statement of about 300 words explaining why you wish to enter the nursing qualification and profession, including why you feel you would make a good nurse. List any personal characteristics you have that demonstrate your suitability. 
  • a curriculum vitae of approximately three pages, which should include your academic and work history 
  • provide details of two character referees – these must not be family or friends
  • if you are applying straight after completing secondary school (or a course at a private training establishment) you will supply a confidential report from your school or institution
  • complete the vetting service request and consent form for a New Zealand Police check – a criminal record check under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004
  • provide a current police certificate from any overseas countries you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
  • complete the Health and Disability Declaration.
  • An interview may be required.

To become a registered nurse, you will also have requirements during and at the end of your study.

Once you have been accepted into the Bachelor of Nursing

Once you are successful at gaining a place in the Bachelor of Nursing, you will also need to complete further tasks. These are to meet the requirements set down by the Nursing Council of New Zealand  for registration as a nurse in New Zealand (in terms of your good character and fitness to be a nurse). You will need to:

  • fill out a VCA 2014 Questionnaire – Vulnerable Children Act 2014 (VCA 2014)

  • hold a current Comprehensive First Aid Certificate (NZQA unit standards 6402, 6401 and 6400) for example Red Cross Comprehensive First Aid or St John First Aid Level 2 

  • meet the immunisations standards of practice for healthcare professionals in New Zealand, in order to be eligible for Clinical Placement (a compulsory part of the qualification). This includes, Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chicken pox), Measles, Pertussis (Whooping cough) and Tuberculosis (TB). Further details will be sent to you after you apply.

  • be vaccinated against COVID-19, as per the New Zealand Government’s announcement that healthcare workers be vaccinated. We require all nursing students to be vaccinated prior to the commencement of study.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must also supply a copy of your results in an Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. IELTS is the only test accepted. You must have achieved at least 6.5 across all bands with no band less than 6.5 within the preceding two years. 

Registration as a Nurse

At the end of your study

A similar procedure will be repeated by the Nursing Council of New Zealand at the end of your study upon your application to sit the State Final Exam to become a registered nurse.

Campus

Nursing is available on Auckland, Manawatū and Wellington campuses. As places are limited we encourage you to apply early. Should a campus reach its maximum number of places you will be waitlisted and contacted regarding other options.

Application closing date

Applications close on 31 January of the year of study. Late applications that are complete may be considered if places allow.

About referees

Referees need to be able to provide informed responses on your personal suitability for the qualification. A referee should be someone who has known you for one year or more in the capacity of employer,  educator, work colleague or person of community standing, ie kaumatua, Minister or similar. Your referee should not be a friend, flatmate, relative or someone who has known you for less than year. The information your referee supplies is confidential to those involved in the selection process. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

Transfers

If you are a nursing student from another institution wishing to transfer into the Bachelor of Nursing at Massey, please contact us prior to making any application. You will need to provide an academic transcript from your current provider along with a reference from the Head of School/qualification, number of clinical hours completed, and the course outlines (prescription and learning outcomes). Applications for transfer need to be submitted no later than 1 October for the following academic year.

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Becoming a registered nurse

In order to become a registered nurse, there are requirements from the Nursing Council of New Zealand that you will need to meet, in terms of your good character and fitness to become a registered nurse. There are requirements both before you start your study and when you successfully complete this qualification.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete this qualification.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

The Bachelor of Nursing is normally completed in three years of full-time study. If you are granted any extensions during your studies, the maximum time to complete this qualification is five years.  

  • Look for information under ‘Completion Requirements’ in the regulations for this qualification
  • Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Bachelor of Nursing

The Bachelor of Nursing is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part and meet some requirements, before moving to the second, etc. There are three parts in total.

Classroom sessions as well as clinical experiences may need to be undertaken outside of normal semester times and/or over the summer period. Travel to clinical placements will be required.

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of Nursing

Core courses These courses are a compulsory part of your qualification.

Blocks of clinical practice Integrated into your courses each year.

Year one
150112 Hauora Tangata: Foundations of Māori Health
168171 Professional Nursing I
168172 Nursing Practice I: Foundations of Care
168173 Nursing Practice II: Foundations of Practice (30 credits)
231107 Social Determinants of Health
214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function
214102 Applied Sciences for Health Professionals
Within its courses, year one includes one 3-week clinical practice block of 120 hours
Year two
168261 Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice
168262 Nursing People with Long Term Conditions
168263 Mental Health and Addictions Nursing I 
168264 Primary Health Care and Health Promotion
168265 Health Assessment and Clinical Decision-making II 
168266 Professional Nursing Practice
214201 Human Bioscience: Impaired Body Function
214202 Pharmacology
Within its courses, year two includes two 3-week clinical practice blocks of 120 hours each; and one 2-week clinical practice block of 80 hours
Year three
168361 Preparing for Professional Practice
168362 Nursing People with Acute Conditions (30 credits)
168363 Mental Health and Addictions Nursing II 
168364 Pre-graduate Nursing Practice (30 credits)
168365 Leadership and Management in Nursing
168366 Contexts of Nursing Practice
Within its courses, year three includes three 3-week clinical practice blocks of 120 hours each; and one 9-week clinical practice block of 360 hours

Courses are each worth 15 credits, unless otherwise indicated

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Specialisations
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Part One compulsory 100‑level courses – 120 credits
  • Part Two compulsory 200‑level courses – 120 credits
  • Part Three compulsory 300‑level courses – 120 credits
  • At least 1100 hours of approved clinical practice and associated reports.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two etc.

Course planning key

Prerequisites
Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Part One (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 150112 Hauora Tangata: Foundations of Māori Health 15 credits

An introduction to understanding Māori health within Aotearoa/New Zealand.

View full course details
Course code: 168171 Professional Nursing I 15 credits

A focus on professional identity and the context of nursing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

View full course details
Course code: 168172 Nursing Practice I: Foundations of Care 15 credits

An introduction to the experience and reflection on beginning knowledge, skills and attributes within simulated nursing settings.

Restrictions: 168162

View full course details
Course code: 168173 Nursing Practice II: Foundations of Practice 30 credits

Further development of the experience and reflection on knowledge, skills and attributes within simulated and placement settings.

View full course details
Course code: 214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function 15 credits

Human body structure and function (anatomy and physiology), including relevant concepts of homeostasis and metabolism and development throughout the lifespan.

Restrictions: 194101, 117155

View full course details
Course code: 214102 Applied Sciences for Health Professionals 15 credits

An introduction to the basic scientific concepts that are relevant to the maintenance of human and environmental health.

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Course code: 231107 Social Determinants of Health 15 credits

This course explores the social determinants of health, the complex range of social, cultural and economic interactions that influence individual and population health and help explain health disparities amongst populations.

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Part Two (No New Enrolments from 2023) (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 168261 Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice 15 credits

A detailed critique of research methods in nursing, and the relevance and impact of evidence-based approaches on health care practice.

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Course code: 168262 Nursing People with Long Term Conditions 15 credits

An exploration of nursing theory and practice as it relates to persons, their families/whanau, and communities adapting to long-term physical health conditions or disability. A practicum is included to gain nursing experience in the context of long term conditions.

Corequisites: 214201, 168265

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Course code: 168263 Mental Health and Addictions Nursing I 15 credits

An exploration of nursing theory and practice as it relates to interpersonal skill development and working alongside persons, their families/whanau, and communities adapting to mental health conditions. A practicum is included to gain nursing experience in the context of long term mental health conditions.

Corequisites: 214201

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Course code: 168264 Primary Health Care and Health Promotion 15 credits

An exploration and application of the principles of primary health care and health promotion for persons, their families/whanau, and communities. A practicum is included to gain nursing experience in the primary health care context.

Corequisites: 214201

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Course code: 168265 Health Assessment and Clinical Decision-making II 15 credits

Consolidating and expanding health assessment theory and skill through focussing on a range of ill-health conditions.

Corequisites: 214201, 168262

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Course code: 168266 Professional Nursing Practice 15 credits

A critical exploration of ethical concepts and legal requirements for nursing as a regulated profession.

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Course code: 214201 Human Bioscience: Impaired Body Function 15 credits

An examination of the aetiology of disease and alteration of health status and the relevant scientific clinical tests, including the role of micro-organisms in disease processes.

Prerequisites: (214101 and 214102) OR (162101; and 194101 or 117155 or 214101)

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Course code: 214202 Pharmacology 15 credits

The study of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics; drug groups; principles of adverse drug effects; and drug interactions of prescription and non-prescription medication.

Prerequisites: 214101 and 214102

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Part Two (from 2023) (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 168271 Professional Nursing II 15 credits

Explore in more depth an emerging professional identity and the complexities of the nursing context in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Restrictions: 168266

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Course code: 168272 Nursing Practice III: Integrated Care 60 credits

Learners experience and reflect on integrated knowledge, skills and attributes within simulated and multiple placement settings.

Restrictions: 168262 and 168263 and 168264 and 168265

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Course code: 168273 Evidence-based Nursing Practice 15 credits

An exploration of the relevance and impact of evidence-based nursing on practice.

Restrictions: 168261

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Course code: 214201 Human Bioscience: Impaired Body Function 15 credits

An examination of the aetiology of disease and alteration of health status and the relevant scientific clinical tests, including the role of micro-organisms in disease processes.

Prerequisites: (214101 and 214102) OR (162101; and 194101 or 117155 or 214101)

View full course details
Course code: 214202 Pharmacology 15 credits

The study of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics; drug groups; principles of adverse drug effects; and drug interactions of prescription and non-prescription medication.

Prerequisites: 214101 and 214102

View full course details

Part Three (No New Enrolments from 2024) (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 168361 Preparing for Professional Practice 15 credits

A critical exploration of contemporary health care structures and governing bodies that influence professional nursing.

Corequisites: 168362, 168363 Restrictions: 168312

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Course code: 168362 Nursing People with Acute Conditions 30 credits

Nursing practice is examined in regard to care for people and their families/whanau experiencing episodes of acute physical illness or trauma. A practicum is included to consolidate nursing skills in the acute medical/surgical care context.

Corequisites: 168361

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Course code: 168363 Mental Health and Addictions Nursing II 15 credits

Nursing practice is examined in regard to care for people and their families/whanau experiencing episodes of acute mental distress across the age continuum including the selection, and application of diagnostic screening tools for clinical decision-making. A practicum is included to gain experience and apply nursing skills in the acute care context.

Corequisites: 168361

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Course code: 168364 Pre-graduate Nursing Practice 30 credits

The practicum experience consolidates working realities of a novice nurse in a clinical setting.

Corequisites: 168366

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Course code: 168365 Leadership and Management in Nursing 15 credits

An exploration of contemporary nursing leadership and management.

Corequisites: 168364

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Course code: 168366 Contexts of Nursing Practice 15 credits

A critical examination of care delivery in specialist settings of nursing practice.

Corequisites: 168364

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Part Three (from 2024) (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 168371 Professional Nursing III 15 credits

Advancement of a developing nursing professional identity within the complexities of the global community.

Restrictions: 168361 and 168365

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Course code: 168372 Nursing Practice IV: Acute Care 45 credits

An advanced experience and reflection on knowledge, skills and attributes focused on acute care to care for individuals and whānau within simulated and multiple placement settings.

Restrictions: 168362 and 168363

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Course code: 168373 Preparing for Professional Excellence 15 credits

An opportunity for students to consolidate learning from practice and theory to further their professional identity, sense of agency and contribution to the global nursing community.

Restrictions: 168361 and 168365

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Course code: 168374 Nursing Practice V: Pre-Graduate 45 credits

Students begin the transition to registered nurse practice and meet Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies.

Prerequisites: 168371 and 168372 Restrictions: 168364 and 168366

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Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers, as it is focused on supporting people, families and communities to manage a wide range of health challenges. Nurses are involved in all areas of health care and can choose to specialise in particular areas, such as intensive care, community mental health, aged care, or child and adolescent nursing. They can also become a specialist in particular conditions, such as diabetes, respiratory care or cancer nursing. Nurses can also choose to develop careers in health management, research and teaching.

Here are just a few examples of where you can work:

Primary and community health care:

  • general practice
  • Māori health services
  • hospice
  • district nursing
  • community mental health.

Hospital-based care:

  • neonatal units
  • medical and surgical wards
  • emergency departments
  • intensive care
  • paediatrics
  • acute mental health services.

Population-based services:

  • public health
  • schools.

Specialty practice:

  • mental health
  • aged care
  • child health
  • family health
  • rural and remote nursing.

What our students say

“Massey University has not only provided a foundation for my future in nursing, but it has also given me the opportunity to inspire and bring hope to my own whānau and friends.”
Acacia Thompson

Ngāti Wai

Waitemata DHB, Registered Nurse, Acute Orthopaedics

Bachelor of Nursing

“The entrepreneurial spirit and passion to make sure students get the best out of their study, really attracted me to Massey.”
George Truebridge

Graduate nurse in orthopaedic surgical ward, Palmerston North Hospital

Bachelor of Nursing

“I actually remember attending Massey open day at Wellington campus with a young baby and the biggest attraction for me was that Massey was able to support my learning as a parent.”
Rachelle Time

Ngā Rauru Kītahi

Bachelor of Nursing

Accreditations and rankings

Nursing Council of New Zealand

Our nursing qualifications are nationally and internationally recognised and approved by the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Upon completion you can apply for registration as a registered nurse with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

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QS Ranking - Nursing

Massey nursing is ranked in the world's top 150 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

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ShanghaiRanking - nursing

Massey University is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world and second in New Zealand in the subject area of nursing by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

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