This programme uses theoretical and clinical learning experiences designed to educate and support Pacific students to become a New Zealand registered nurse, capable of working in a range of multicultural settings.

For over thirty years nursing has been a major programme at Whitireia. During this time, Whitireia has developed a reputation for producing work-ready graduates who are highly regarded by industry.

All are three-year full-time programmes offering a combination of theory i.e. classroom-based sessions at our Porirua campus and supported clinical experience, which is practical/hands-on work completed in a variety of community and hospital settings.


Why choose Whitireia?

  • Excellent reputation for offering a friendly and supportive learning environment.
  • We use several teaching methods, which focus on discovery learning and active participation in workshops, lectures, tutorials and online activities.
  • We provide supported clinical experiences which lead to a work-ready graduate.
  • Whitireia has a vibrant student community that is rich in diversity.
  • State-of-the-art simulated clinical learning environments for our nursing students. This give students access to the latest technology and a learning environment that is a point of difference between Whitireia and most other undergraduate providers.
  • Various student supports that help students achieve their learning goals including pastoral care, financial advice, counselling, health services, childcare facilities and more
  • Our academic staff are registered nurses, who are well qualified academically and clinically. They have a wealth of knowledge and a passion for their specialities, which include primary health care, mental health, medical/surgical and gerontology.  


 Why choose nursing?

  • Nursing is a very diverse career choice and involves working with and caring for people of all backgrounds, religions and cultures.  
  • Nursing is a profession that requires empathy, compassion, communication and teamwork.
  • You will use your specialised knowledge and training every day, to manage the many different rewarding and challenging situations that nursing brings.
  • You also need to be able to problem solve, often in challenging situations and in a variety of areas such as a person’s home, medical centre, prison, emergency room, retirement home, factory or marae.
  • A nurse can earn a competitive salary and work anywhere in the world.
  • With your degree, you can also advance your education and can become an independent clinical specialist, work in education, management or policy.
  • The variety of opportunities for nurses is endless.


Programme Outline

Year One (Level 5): The first year of study has a health focus and students are supported to become student nurses by gaining knowledge of nursing theory and research, nursing practice, bio-science, te Tiriti o Waitangi, communications, social determinants of health, life span development and Pacific heritage. Students are taught in simulated settings and in class, with short periods of clinical practice during the year.

Bachelor of Nursing Pacific Year One Course Outlines

Year Two (Level 6): Students become independent learners and add to the knowledge gained in year one. Block periods of 3-4 weeks clinical practice occur in a variety of settings within both the Nursing Practice Community course and the Nursing Practice Mental Health course. Other courses include Pacific Health, Nursing​ Knowledge and Research, Reflective Practice and Applied Bio-Nursing. 

Bachelor of Nursing Pacific Year Two Course Outlines

Year Three (Level 7): Practice and theory knowledge is consolidated in preparation for practice. In the first semester, students focus on nursing practice in acute settings, bio-nursing, Pacific community development and public health/health promotion. In the second semester, students complete a leadership course, have an extended period in clinical practice and prepare for Nursing Council State Final Examinations and RN (registered nurse) practice.

Bachelor of Nursing Pacific Year Three Course Outlines

On successful completion of this programme, graduates receive the Bachelor of Nursing Pacific, are eligible to sit the Nursing Council State Finals, and can apply to enrol in postgraduate programmes of study.


Types of Learning


Theory hours at Whitireia are usually 9.00am-4.00pm during theory weeks. The programmes each have a different non-teaching day.

A variety of teaching processes are used in the programme including lectures, tutorials, learning packages, workshops, student presentations, online learning and practical sessions in the simulation suites where ‘hands-on’ skills are learnt and practised.

If there are no timetabled classes, students are expected to utilise this time working in study teams or on independent study. Students will also be required to complete independent study and work on assignments during weekends and term breaks.

It is strongly recommended that students have a computer at home with internet access.


To gain a Bachelor of Nursing Degree, students must complete a minimum of 1,100 hours of clinical experience (praxis).

We are proud of the excellent working partnerships we have with our clinical providers, which include both the Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast District Health Boards and private, iwi and community organisations. Their assistance enables us to provide students with a variety of high-quality clinical placements, which allows students to experience the range of opportunities available as a registered nurse.

In Year 1, students learn clinical skills in our simulation suites (which are set up like hospital wards), as well as attending offsite clinical experiences in rest homes and the community.

In Years 2 & 3, students will have 14 -16 clinical weeks each year; these are divided into blocks of between 3 - 9 weeks. Please note these clinical weeks may include weekends. Hours during clinical blocks will vary according to the clinical placement, i.e. hospital shifts can include mornings 7:00am-3: 30 pm, afternoons 2:45 - 11:15 pm and overnight.

Due to the hours of work and location of placements throughout the greater Wellington region, it may be difficult to get public transport to the clinical placement and students may, therefore, require private transport to attend clinical placements. It is unlikely that students will get clinical placements in the area where they live. The cost of transport to and from clinical placements is the student’s responsibility.

If students are working part-time, priority must be given to attending clinical placements. We also recommend that no more than 10 hours per week are worked.


Career Opportunities

This qualification enables graduates to work as a beginning staff nurse in all areas where registered nurses are employed, both nationally and internationally.

Nurses are present across the entire spectrum of health-service delivery and, with over 40,000 registered This includes child-health services, residential care facilities, mental health services, community services, marae, independent-nurse clinics, public-health services, occupational health and safety and lots more

Becoming a Registered Nurse

Students who 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 applies to the Nursing Council for registration as a Registered Nurse.

Future Opportunities

On becoming a registered nurse, most graduates apply for new graduate programmes, which are run by many of the District Health Boards throughout New Zealand. Many graduates will 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 Degree from New Zealand is internationally recognised.


Entry Requirements

Whitireia degree academic entry requirements, or equivalent academic/work experience; evidence of suitability based on an interview, health screening, safety check, referee reports 


The interview determines the applicant's preparedness for study, ability to meet the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (if applicable) and any registration board requirements in terms of being fit for registration. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the following qualities: 

  • effective interpersonal communication skills
  • understanding of, and capability to work in the professional health and social services sector
  • commitment and motivation to succeed
Safety check

As required by the Vulnerable Children's Act (2014), students who may work with children during the course of their study must be safety checked. Safety checking includes reference checking, work history, identity check, police vet and an overall assessment of the applicant's safety to work with children.

International students

Proven equivalence to entry requirements plus IELTS 6.5 in each band


How to apply

You will need additional forms and documents for your application, please read the steps and download the required forms through the link below.

How to apply


Post-enrollment information

Documents for students who have begun the enrolment process can be found on the School of Health Moodle page.

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