Changes to the CAP Refund Programme

In response to changing workforce needs, the CAP refund programme is progressively closing over the three months up to 30 September 2024.

  • From 31 May 2024, the fund closed for those commencing employment after 31 May 2024 with Health New Zealand, a range of other Government agencies,  private hospitals and temping and other short term employment agencies.

  • We will continue to process applications for those with offers of employment with a commencement date prior to 31 May.   If you meet this criteria you have until 30 June 2024 to submit your application.

  • Health New Zealand will continue to accept CAP applications where the offers of employment are in Aged Residential Care, Community Care and Primary Care, and have an employment commencement date prior to 30 September 2024.   If you meet this criteria, you have until 31 October 2024 to submit your application

  • This programme closes completely on 31 October 2024.

The Internationally Qualified Nurses CAP Fund has been established to reduce costs for Internationally Qualified Nurses (IQNs) required to complete a Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) to become registered to work as a nurse in New Zealand. This fund will help make New Zealand more attractive in a highly-competitive international market where nurses are in high demand.  

To work as a nurse in New Zealand, IQNs must meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) standards, which assess nursing qualifications for comparability with New Zealand programme standards. The NCNZ may ask an overseas nurse to complete a CAP to demonstrate they are competent to practise in New Zealand before gaining registration.

For more information about registration for international nurses, go to the NCNZ website.

New Zealand nurses based overseas

New Zealand nurses based overseas who want to return to work in New Zealand are not required to undertake the CAP so are not eligible for this fund. 

New Zealand nurses who want to return to nursing may be able to get financial support from the Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund. This fund is also available to overseas nurses working in New Zealand as a Health Care Assistant/Support worker for an aged residential care provider, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora or NGO, who intend to work for the employer as an Enrolled or Registered Nurse.  

For more information, visit our page on the Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund.

How to apply for the fund

To register your interest in the fund, you first need:

  • confirmation from the Nursing Council of New Zealand that you need to complete a CAP course
  • confirmation of a CAP provider
  • a start date for the course.

You'll need this information before you fill out the form.

When your form is complete, send it to

Reimbursement of costs will be considered when IQNs have completed their course and can provide evidence of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP) offered by a provider accredited by the NCNZ.
  • Registration from the NCNZ.
  • A confirmed offer of employment in a direct patient-facing role, such as in hospitals, aged care, GP practices or mental health and addictions.
  • Required work visa to work in New Zealand.

What funding is provided

The Internationally Qualified Nurses CAP Fund will provide financial assistance to reduce the costs of a CAP offered by providers accredited by NCNZ. The fund applies to CAPs that begin from 1 August 2022. 

The maximum amount this fund provides is up to NZ$10,000 per applicant. Funding will be prioritised for nurses who have secured full-time employment. Nurses intending to work part-time will receive pro-rated financial assistance based on how many hours they are working. For example, if an overseas nurse undertakes a CAP at the cost of NZ $8,000 and is working 20 hours a week, the amount they can claim is NZ$4,000.

International nurses seeking employment in other areas of nursing, such as policy, education/training, corporate or administration, would not be eligible to apply for this fund - it is only for nurses seeking patient-facing roles. 

For more information

If you need any more information about the Internationally Qualified Nurses Fund, please email the team at