Audit of Indian diploma RNs nearly complete

30 June 2014

The Nursing Council has nearly completed recertification audits on about 350 Indian diploma-qualified nurses that followed a year of controversy and protests over the registration process.

A number of diploma-qualified nurses studying in New Zealand in the hope of gaining registration were caught out in 2012 by the Council reassessing the Indian nursing diploma as a lower level qualification than previously thought, leading to marches on parliament and a hunger strike.

Some Indian nurses pointed out at the time that similarly qualified colleagues had been registered and were working in New Zealand without problem.

The Council responded by reviewing the qualifications of the then-1000 Indian-qualified nurses it had registered in the previous three years. It then decided in late 2012 to carry out a recertification audit of about 350 who were diploma-trained to double-check and reassure Council about their competency.

Nursing Council chief executive Carolyn Reed said there were about 50 audits still in process, with the Council awaiting further documentation from the nurses involved, including some that are overseas, but in general, the audit had found “some really good nurses out there doing a really good job.”

She said many of the 300 nurses whose audit had been completed been found to be well-engaged in professional development recognition programmes (PDRPs) offered by their employers and had completed other qualifications than their initial diploma.

The audit also found a number had registered first in Australia and been registered in New Zealand automatically under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (TTMR) process. A small number had never come to New Zealand to work and were living elsewhere.