The Bachelor of Nursing is a qualification that gives the registered nurse opportunities to work in a wide variety of settings, both nationally and internationally.
Nurses are present across the entire spectrum of health-service delivery and, with over 40,000 registered, they are the largest part of the professional health workforce. The most common image of the nurse is in a hospital ward or general practice, but in reality, nurses are found in a much wider range of health and disability services settings. Nurses work in child-health services, residential-care facilities, mental-health services, community services, marae, independent-nurse clinics, public-health services, occupational health and safety, the defence forces, sexual-health services, ACC case management, prisons, policy development and implementation, health-service management, education and research, as well as in many other settings.
Students who successfully complete a Bachelor of Nursing programme are required to sit the Nursing Council of New Zealand State Final examinations. When these examinations are passed, the student becomes a registered nurse. This qualification enables the graduate to work as a beginning staff nurse in all areas where registered nurses are employed.
On becoming a registered nurse, most graduates apply for new graduate programmes run by many of the District Health Boards throughout New Zealand. Many graduates also go on to complete postgraduate studies in nursing specialities i.e. Mental Health Nursing, Hospice Palliative Care and Primary Health Care. Some graduates will travel overseas, where a Bachelor of Nursing from New Zealand is internationally recognised.