In our short series looking at working as a nurse in New Zealand we speak with the West Coast District Health Board. If you want to work overseas as a nurse, New Zealand could be the place for you.... About Matt Farrah - follow me on Google+

Do you have a lot of nurses from the UK applying for jobs in New Zealand?

Yes there seems to be a significant interest from UK nurses.

What does a UK nurse need to have to apply for your jobs?

Registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand and a valid Annual Practising Certificate. A valid work permit or NZ residency. The West Coast DHB can only consider candidates who have had at least 8 months paid work experience since graduating as a Nurse.

What are the key nursing job areas (specialisms) that New Zealand is most in need of recruiting for?

Currently at the West Coast DHB our needs are in Theatre nurse jobs, Paediatric nurse jobs and Mental Health nursing jobs (RMN jobs). We also have some fixed term contracts available - Enrolled Nurses in Westport and Clinical Nurse Specialist Respiratory.

The UK welcomes New Zealand nurses who wish to apply for jobs. Is this a problem at all for the strength of the New Zealand work force?

NZ does find it hard to retain our nursing workforce at times. Obviously it depends on each countries employment market at the time, but like many parts of the world new graduates often like to have some overseas experience before potentially working in the country they trained in.

To help a New Zealander who’s thinking about a career in nursing... what is the process of training and registration?

Nursing trainings is a degree level course, available at a number of universities and polytechniques across the country - the training provided is a Bachelor of Nursing. Completion of training allows the graduate to become registered as an RN, with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

A NZ registered nurse may elect to work across any area of nursing practice, there are no longer different registrations for mental health nursing and/or general nursing

Would you recommend that a jobseeker interested in a nursing career works in an unqualified capacity first?

No, this isn't that beneficial, There is now an expectation that healthcare assistants undertake a certificate course which will increase the overall cost and/or debt burden.

If you wish to become a nurse - start the training; if you do not meet entry criteria - upgrade your base qualifications - through polytech pre-entry courses or the open university.

Are there plenty of job vacancies for nurses in New Zealand in terms of employment openings?

Yes there are many nursing job opportunities in New Zealand available in both the public and private health sectors.

Can you tell us what working at WCDHB is like, what kind of institution it is, and what the benefits are?

Working as a nurse for the West Coast DHB, you are treated as a name, not a number. Working in a more rural environment you will be able to hone in on specialist generalist skills, and work more closely and collaboratively with other medical staff than may be possible in larger centres.

The West Coast DHB culture is one of innovation and resourcefulness and just 'getting on with things'. A collaborative, relaxed but professional approach is our focus.

We offer competitive remuneration and flexible working hours, a challenging and interesting work in a supportive environment, opportunity and encouragement for internal and external training and a child friendly workplace close to schools and amenities.

Thanks to WCDHB for their time