Otago Polytechnic

Bachelor of Nursing

Want a rewarding career in healthcare that gives you the opportunity to really make a difference in people's lives? Become a nurse and it can also be your passport to the world!

Nurses care for and work with individuals and groups of clients in collaboration with other health professionals. Registered nurses may specialise in a variety of practice areas, including medical and surgical, mental health, child health/paediatrics, aged care, rural health care and primary health care. There is a worldwide demand for registered nurses and a wide range of career options, both within New Zealand and overseas. These include working for hospitals, health centres, community agencies, public health and rest homes. Otago Polytechnic nursing graduates are in high demand due to their high calibre and work-readiness and Maori and Pasifika nurses are particularly sought after for careers in health.

Become educated to the highest professional standards with the nursing courses that make up our Bachelor of Nursing degree. Embrace the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience during clinical placements and practical laboratory sessions where you can test the skills you have learned during lectures and tutorials. In turn, this will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of the reasons behind the techniques and to gain confidence in your own abilities. Benefit from access to state-of-the-art Dunedin nursing facilities, the latest industry knowledge and the support and advice from highly experienced teachers. This qualification provides you with the knowledge and experience to achieve New Zealand nursing registration, and also provides a perfect springboard into more advanced study.

After completing this comprehensive degree, your name will be put forward to sit the state final examination for registration as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand. You must have met the requirements of the Nursing Council of New Zealand's competencies for registered nurses (2012) and the criteria set out under section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

*Applications close 30 September, however the Selection Committee will continue to review applications received after this date.

Minimum entry requirements for nursing
  • NCEA Level 3 (equivalent of entry to university) including:
    • Three subjects - at Level 3 or above, made up of:
      • 14 credits in biology OR chemistry
      • 14 credits in English OR an English language-rich subject
      • 14 credits in one other approved subject
      • the remaining credits may come from either achievement or unit standards, and  
    • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
      • 5 credits in reading 
      • 5 credits in writing, and
    • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
      • specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR
      • package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).
  • If you are over 20, you must have completed the equivalent of NCEA Level 3 biology and/or chemistry within the past five years.
  • You must provide a Level 2 Comprehensive First Aid Certificate (this can be achieved with either NZQA Unit Standards or NZQA First Aid Unit Standards) and make a health declaration.
  • You must provide two referee reports showcasing your academic and community/work-related skills.
  • You must complete a Ministry of Justice criminal history check for any convictions.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet degree-level New Zealand nursing entry requirements. Click here for your country's equivalent academic entry requirements.
  • If you are a Certificate in Health (Level 4) student, you must nominate a programme lecturer as an academic reference.
  • If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.5, with no band score less than 6.5.
Bridging options

Otago Polytechnic's Certificate in Health (Level 4) is a one-year programme which serves as a nursing bridging/nursing foundation course, or pathway into alternative health career opportunities.

Please note:

To meet the nursing training academic entry requirements for the Bachelor of Nursing programme, a minimum B+ average is required over your second semester courses. Due to the high demand for places, successful completion of the Certificate in Health (Level 4) will not automatically guarantee entry to this degree.

Non-academic entry criteria for those with previous healthcare experience may also be considered. Please contact Otago Polytechnic for further information.

Application process

For a step-by-step guide to applying for the Bachelor of Nursing click here.

*Applications officially close 30 September but the Selection Committee will continue to review applications received after this date.

Completing your application

You must provide certified copies of proof of identity, academic records and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Applications will only be considered complete when the following documents are also received by the School of Nursing.

Please use this checklist to ensure your application is complete.

*Applications close 30 September, however the Selection Committee will continue to review applications received after this date.

Selection procedure

Student selection is the responsibility of the Bachelor of Nursing Selection Committee.

Criteria for assessing suitability are:

  • Academic records that meet the entry criteria
  • Referee reports that identify applicants as highly suitable for a career in nursing (both referee reports will be considered as they are expected to identify strengths in different areas)
  • A curriculum vitae that is congruent with referee reports and academic transcripts.

Selection process for pre-registration students to the Bachelor of Nursing:

Each application is considered by the Bachelor of Nursing Selection Committee who may request an interview with the applicant where there is a lack of congruence in the information presented. There is an affirmative action policy in regard to applicants who identify as Māori and meet the stated entry criteria.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their completed application. Following the assessment of the applications, applicants are placed into four groups:

  1. Place offered
  2. Wait-listed
  3. Waiting results
  4. Place not offered

Should the number of applicants who meet the selection process requirements exceed the available places, applicants will be placed on a prioritised waitlist. Applicants are welcome to make an appointment with the Bachelor of Nursing Admissions Committee Chairperson to discuss the outcome of their application.

Additional costs

You will be required to purchase:

  • Textbooks $700
  • Uniforms $250
  • Equipment $130

There will be additional accommodation and travel costs associated with clinical placements. During year two and three, you will be required to travel to other regions for some of your clinical placements.

Students are required to have a laptop or device which has Win7 or above or IOS Maverick.

Please note: all costs are approximate.

Further study options

Expand your career prospects with further postgraduate study in Nursing both within New Zealand and overseas. There is now an established career pathway to Nurse Practitioner through master's degree study, and further educational opportunities are available for practice specialisation.

Programme specific risks

You must be physically and psychologically able to engage in diverse clinical nursing practice in New Zealand, including acute hospital and community health settings during this programme. You must declare any pre-existing health conditions.

Once you have been accepted into the programme, you will be notified that you must produce current evidence of immunisation status. You are encouraged to be immunised against Hepatitis B. Not having this immunisation will impact on access to some clinical placements and thus progression in the course may be affected.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) clearance is a requirement of a number of clinical placement providers. You may be tested for MRSA during your study. A positive result for MRSA may delay your progression in the programme as you will be unable to attend your clinical placement until you have clearance.

Occasionally, clinical providers request additional information on health status. During your clinical placements, you will be exposed to risks commonly associated with the health services. These are broad and include personal injury such as needle-stick, through to potential harms to service users which may be reported to the Health Commissioner.

You will study

To successfully achieve the Bachelor of Nursing, you must complete all the courses within the programme. 50% of your three year nursing qualification will involve clinical practice. This provides a rich learning environment due to your exposure to a diversity of clients and health needs, and will prepare you for work as a registered nurse.

Your workload

You must meet both theoretical and clinical requirements during this nursing degree and the workload is demanding. You can expect to work approximately 40 hours per week throughout the year and should expect assessments, often written assignments, in most weeks.

Qualification structure

Papers/Unit Title

Level

Credit

YEAR ONE

   

Professional Nursing 1

5

15

Bioscience  for Nursing

5

15

Nursing Practice 1

5

30

Theory for Practice 1

5

20

Sociology for Nurses

5

15

Applied Psychological Concepts for Nurses

5

15

Pharmacology

5

10

Year One total

 

120

 

Papers/Unit Title

Level

Credit

YEAR TWO

   

Professional Nursing: Theory and Research 2

6

15

Pathophysiology

6

15

Māori Health

6

15

Nursing Practice: Primary Health 2

6

15

Theory for Practice 2

6

30

Nursing Practice: Medical/Surgical

6

15

Nursing Practice: Mental Health 2

6

15

Year Two total

 

120

 

Papers/Unit Title

Level

Credit

YEAR THREE

   

Professional Nursing: Theory and Research 3

7

15

Nursing Practice: Primary Health 3

7

15

Nursing Practice: Mental Health 3

7

15

Nursing Practice: Medical/Surgical 3

7

15

Transition to RN Practice

7

40

Theory for Practice 3

7

20

Year Three total

 

120

Programme total

 

360

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw from your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Links to useful websites
Disclaimer

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.