Bachelor of Nursing - Invercargill

Qualification: Degree
Level: 7

Year One: 4 February to 10 November 2019

Year Two: 11 February to 17 November 2019

Year Three: 4 February to 10 November 2019 (State final examination will take place on Tuesday 19 November 2019)


Three years full time

Location: Invercargill
Credits: 360

  • SIT’s School of Nursing (previously Southland Polytechnic) has been delivering nursing education for 40 years and has a long history of successful graduates.
  • Our enthusiastic staff have a wide range of nursing experience within NZ and overseas.
  • Specialist equipment includes a nursing simulation suite with computerised mannequins and life size models of body parts, as well as a large library of DVD resources and text books.
  • Clinical placements throughout Southland and Otago provide real-life experience in many diverse nursing environments
  • A career in nursing can take you around the world! Nurses are always in demand.

The Bachelor of Nursing is a three-year degree programme which provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills appropriate for employment in a wide and growing number of nursing careers.

The programme has as its core, theoretical and practical work in nursing – including principles relating to primary health, acute and chronic nursing care, mental health and mental illness throughout the lifespan.  The programme also recognises the importance of the cultural dimensions of nursing.

The Bachelor of Nursing has a strong applied component to allow students to enter the workforce proficient in a range of additional strengths including health promotion, illness prevention, evidence-based practice, the ability to provide nursing care in a medical and surgical context, as well as the provision of emergency nursing care.

This programme will enhance opportunities for students to develop a broad understanding of nursing, thus preparing them for professional practice or further advanced study in this area.

The Bachelor of Nursing has been designed to prepare graduates for a wide variety of nursing careers in community and hospital situations.  It is expected Bachelor of Nursing graduates will make a positive contribution to the health of people of New Zealand and the wider world.  This contribution will be as nurses demonstrating caring, competent, safe nursing practice in partnership with individuals, groups and communities.

Increasing complexity of health care needs requires well-educated, competent and compassionate nurses who are able to:

  • Comprehend, critique and apply knowledge from nursing and other related disciplines in an appropriate and safe practice context.
  • Facilitate the competent and safe provision of nursing care to groups and individuals with a variety of settings.
  • Competently practise within the legal and ethical parameters of the nursing profession.
  • Recognise, value, critique and apply research to nursing practice and knowledge.
  • Meet the requirements of the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration as a Registered Nurse.

The degree follows four themes – Professional Practice, Praxis, Health and Society and Health Sciences.  

Throughout the programme students are involved in learning in clinical settings in a variety of community and hospital areas.  By the end of the programme it is expected students will have integrated the theory and practice framework to develop into confident beginning practitioners.

Year One operates within a health and wellness framework. Students are encouraged to develop as autonomous and reflective learners. 200 hours of beginning practicum experiences in year one focus on healthy development through the lifespan, health promotion, health education, health assessments and care of the well elderly in residential and private homes.

In Year Two, students further develop core and specialised skills and theoretical knowledge and are provided with the opportunity to develop analytical and research skills. Year Two papers focus on ongoing knowledge, critical analysis and reflection development, and the development of competencies in nursing practice. Emphasis continues to be on partnership and respect for individuals. 430 practicum hours are offered in a variety of health and illness settings in hospitals, hospital related services within the community, and primary health settings (occupational health, public health, well child, GP/PHO settings).

Year Three requires in depth knowledge of specialised content of acute care and mental health.  Year Three papers aim to complement and build on the students' existing theoretical and practical knowledge established in Years One and Two. The student will be encouraged to apply critical reasoning in increasingly complex practice settings in community and hospital facilities.

Year Three provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to practice as confident safe beginning practitioners. In this year, 880 practicum hours are provided to enable students to develop the competencies required of beginning practitioners.  400 of the practicum hours are offered as a transition placement where students gain extended experience as part of a health care team in community or hospital placement.  As far as possible students will take responsibility for their choice of transition to practice paper.

Paper Descriptions:
Year One

BN511 Professional Issues in Nursing
This paper lays down the foundation principles for the profession of nursing.  It will explore the modern practice of nursing within a variety of environments and examine how the role of nursing has changed over time.  Students will begin to explore their own values and beliefs and how this may impact upon their delivery of nursing care.

BN521 Primary Health and Health Promotion
This paper will enable the student to gain an understanding of the principles of communication, cultural safety and primary health care. Students will examine the role of the nurse in primary health care and health promotion.

BN522 Fundamentals of Clinical Practice
The purpose of this paper is to introduce the student to the fundamentals of the art and science of nursing within New Zealand/Aotearoa.  The student will have the opportunity to develop and progress their theoretical knowledge and clinical skills in the clinical suite and health care facilities.

BN531 Health and Social Sciences 1
The student will be introduced to social science principles related to growth and development, health psychology, psychology and sociology providing a comprehensive theoretical foundation for nursing practice.

BN541 Health Sciences 1
The purpose of this paper is to introduce students to the biological, chemical and physical principles upon which human body structure and function is based, providing a sound scientific basis for the development of safe and effective nursing practice.

Year Two

BN611 Professional Issues in Nursing 2
This paper will enable the student to develop knowledge of the nature of nursing and how practice is developed and delivered within New Zealand / Aotearoa. It will build on the knowledge gained in BN511.

BN623 The Art and Science of Nursing Practice
Students will have the opportunity to further develop and apply their theoretical knowledge and skills in a wide variety of primary and secondary health care settings to clients across the lifespan utilising reflection and critical thinking.

BN631 Health and Social Sciences 2
Students will further examine the significance of cultural safety within Aotearoa/ New Zealand and the relationship of the Treaty of Waitangi to healthcare and Kawa Whakaruruhau.  

Students will develop a holistic approach to caring for the family / whanau recognising the diversity of needs identified in the New Zealand Health Care Strategy and the Primary Health Care Strategy.

BN641 Health Sciences 2
Students will further develop their knowledge base established in BN541. Understanding of selected aspects of anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pathophysiology and pharmacology will be gained to consolidate a sound theoretical basis for safe nursing practice.

Year Three

BN711 Leadership and Professional Issues in Nursing
The purpose of this paper is to review the role of the nurse within organisations and to study the impact of national and international policies on the delivery of nursing care.

BN721 Nursing in the Acute Setting
The purpose of this paper is to consolidate the art and science of nursing to increasingly complex health consumers, while applying health science knowledge to the comprehensive analysis of specific health themes.  Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate decision making skills, utilizing evidence based practice and being actively involved in multidisciplinary teams.

BN722 Nursing in Mental Health Settings 
This paper will provide an informed and contemporary theoretical and practical basis of mental health nursing to the student learner.  Students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge, behaviours, skills, and competencies integral to mental health nursing practice within a variety of learning environments.

BN723 Transition for Nursing Practice 
The purpose of this paper is to consolidate all the components of the Bachelor of Nursing programme to enable the student nurse to transition from student to registered nurse through practice under the supervision of an experienced preceptor.

This programme is eligible for the Zero Fees Scheme.

SIT's Bachelor of Nursing is a smart choice! With no tutorial fees and direct material costs of $1480 (Y1), $1160 (Y2), $1160 (Y3) (GST inclusive), over three years you'll pay around $3800, saving a massive $18,800* - all while gaining a high quality education and internationally recognised degree.

International Fees can be found here.

(*Prices above are estimated over 3 years of study, based on 2019 costs.)

There is free car parking around SIT and at many of the local clinical placements.

Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to practise nursing and they will be eligible to sit the Nursing Council of New Zealand Examination for registration in the Registered Nurse scope of practice. Once formally registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, graduates will work as nurses in primary, secondary and tertiary health settings; they will be critically reflective practitioners of nursing and they will practise within a framework of cultural safety. 

A nursing career offers great opportunities for men and women from a variety of cultures and walks of life.  Nursing is a partnership with people to improve their health. This includes assisting children, adults or older people recovering from physical or mental illness in hospital, or their own homes.  Health promotion in nursing may involve people in schools, the workplace, marae or health centres.

Máori nurses help promote health and well being to Te Iwi Máori in culturally appropriate nursing services. Pacific Island nurses can use their skills to benefit the health status of their people both in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands.

There are opportunities for career development in many areas including practice, teaching, management, and research both in New Zealand and overseas.

Accepted degree entry for under 20 year old applicants.

University Entrance requirements - NCEA Level 3: three subjects at Level 3 or above made up of the following:

  • 14 credits each, in three approved subjects, preferably  in Science, Mathematics and English
  • Literacy, 10 credits at Level 2 or above made up of five credits in reading and five credits in writing
  • Numeracy, 10 credits at Level 1 or above made up of specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects, or Unit standards package of three numeracy unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627.  All three required.

Or an overseas qualification which is considered to be the equivalent of the above.

Mature Aged Applicants (20 years of age and above)
Applicants who do not meet the criteria stated above may be considered for the Bachelor of Nursing degree programme if they are over the age of 20 years at the date of commencement of the programme and have demonstrated academic ability to undertake the undergraduate nursing degree. For example, this means successful completion of a programme of study at NZQF Level 4 or above.

For your group interview, you will have 30 minutes to complete a numeracy assessment. You can expect 30 questions. Download a sample of 10 questions here, which are reflective of the types of questions you can expect.

Language Requirements
Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having achieved an NZQA approved English Proficiency Assessment, or achieved the required score in one of the following internationally recognised English Proficiency tests within the preceding two years:

  • IELTS Academic English language test overall score of 6.5 that includes a score of at least 6.5 in each of Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking.
  • TOEFL Paper based pOT score of 550 with an essay score of 5 TWE
  • TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) – Score of 590 (with an essay score 5.5 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet- based test (iBT) – Score of 79 (with a writing score of 21)
  • University of Cambridge English Examinations – CAE or CPE with a score of 176.  No less than 169 in each skill.
  • NZCEL – Level 5 with the Academic endorsement
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PToE (Academic score of 58)
  • City of Guilds IESOL  – C1 Expert with a score of 42

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate below 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English must provide evidence that they:

  1. Have gained NCEA Level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements or
  2. Hold a bachelor’s degree of at least 3 years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America or
  3. Have achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA or
  4. Have achieved the required score in one of the internationally recognised English Proficiency tests (specified above) within the preceding two years. 

All applicants must provide evidence of clearance of any criminal conviction considered inappropriate for working with vulnerable people. In addition, all applicants will be required to complete a New Zealand Police Consent to Disclosure of Information form. The form will be sent to the Police Licensing and Vetting Service, and returned to the Academic and Relationship Leader in the School of Nursing.  Information on the NZ Police Vetting Service is available from the New Zealand Police website. Some criminal convictions, depending upon their recency and severity, may preclude applicants and students from completing practical requirements of the programme and thus being able to continue in the programme. Failure to declare convictions may affect an applicant’s eligibility to be registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Please note: the Vulnerable Children's Act 2015 may require a change to the vetting procedure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Bachelor of Nursing be completed part time?
The Bachelor of Nursing is a 3 year full time course. Under exceptional circumstances, students can take up to a maximum of 5 years at the discretion of the Academic and Relationship Leader.

Will I be required to work weekends and nights?
Yes. The courses require that you will undertake placements that require you to work shifts, nights and weekends. People are unwell 24/7.

Are all the placements in Invercargill?
No. We use a variety of placements from Queenstown, Gore, and Bluff and surrounding towns. Students will be required to make their own travel arrangements.

I have a criminal conviction – do I need to declare it?
Yes. All criminal convictions must be declared to the Academic and Relationship Leader before the course commences. Some criminal convictions may prohibit you from continuing your training.

Does a place on the pre-entry course guarantee a place on the Bachelor of Nursing course?
No. The pre-entry course prepares you for the academic study on the Bachelor of Nursing but it does not necessarily guarantee you a place on either the New Zealand Diploma of Enrolled Nursing or Bachelor of Nursing course.

I don’t have sciences or maths – does that matter?
Yes. Nursing is heavily based in the sciences and it is recommended that you have undertaken some studies in both.

Is there a list of recommended text books?
Yes. This is sent out with your acceptance letter.

Are the course holidays the same as the school holidays?
Not always. Whilst every effort is made to match school holidays this is not always possible. Timetables are given out on orientation day so this will give you plenty of time to organise childcare. You may need to organise childcare as you could be on a clinical placement or in class.

Are there any part-time / member of the public papers?
No not in nursing. If you are looking for some preparatory study, you may wish to consider Health Science papers; Massage papers; or Computing skills.

Do I need a current first aid certificate?
YES you do. NZQA unit standard 26551 or 6402 equivalent. This is required before you start (if possible).

Do I need to have any immunisations?
Yes. In order to protect both yourself and other patients. You will be sent a laboratory form with your acceptance letter.

Information for Bachelor of Nursing applicants wishing to transfer in from another School.

  • We do not take people into Year 3 of the Bachelor of Nursing
  • Students wishing to transfer must obtain a reference from their current Head of School and give permission for the Head of School to be contacted by SIT
  • Students wishing to gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) must provide a transcript and copies of all the related outcomes for that course. There is a charge for the RPL process. Any RPL for a second year clinical paper has to be approved by Nursing Council. RPL is not automatic and careful consideration is given to matching up outcomes – this is a lengthy process and may require a student to submit an assessment.
  • There is no national curriculum and therefore applicants need to acknowledge that they may have to repeat part of their first or second years, thereby increasing their length of study
  • Students need to think very carefully about why they are transferring
  • Any students wishing to transfer must meet the entry criteria for the SIT Bachelor of Nursing programme
  • There is no July intake - you cannot transfer mid-year.

To satisfactorily complete and be awarded the Bachelor of Nursing a student must achieve the successful completion criteria for each paper of the Bachelor of Nursing and attend a minimum of 80% of scheduled learning activities of each paper. This amounts to a completion of a minimum of 360 credits.

The Bachelor of Nursing programme comprises three years of study.  Southern Institute of Technology will in this timeframe and where this is within Southern Institute of Technology's control, endeavour to make appropriate provision for enrolled students to obtain required practical experience in order to complete this programme and to meet New Zealand Nursing Council requirements to sit the New Zealand Nursing Council State Finals Examination. Prospective applicants must be aware however, that, while Southern Institute of Technology is committed to ensuring that all students obtain the appropriate clinical requirements before sitting the New Zealand Nursing Council State Finals Examination, that circumstances beyond Southern Institute of Technology's control may prevent the student from completing required clinical practical placements within the three year timeframe.  Such circumstances may for example include sudden regional changes in medical placement availability as well as other factors.

2018 textbooks:

Year One:


Required - Community Health and Wellness (2014), McMurray, A. & Clendon, J., 5th edition, ISBN 9780729541756


Required - Fundamentals of Nursing and Mifwifery. (2016), ANZ Edition, 3rd Edition, Hill, R., Hall, H. & Glew. P, IBSN 9781496350992
This text will also be used in BN511, BN521, & BN531

Required - Pharmacology for Nursing and Health Professionals, 2nd edition, McKenna & Lim, IBSN 9781920994983

Highly Recommended - Nursing Student’s Clinical Survival Guide (2013), Reid-Searl, K., et al., 2nd or 3rd editions, ISBN 9781442561182

Highly Recommended - Nursing Student’s Maths & Medications Survival Guide (2007), Reid-Searl, K., et al., ISBN 9780733986666


Required - Think Sociology (2011), 14th Edition Carl, Baker, Robards, Scott, Hillman & Lawrence, Australia: Pearson 9781442539808

Required - Introduction to Psychology. (2017), 15th Edition, Coon & Mitterer, United States of America: Cengage Learning 9781337565691

Required - Experience Human Development (2015), 13th Edition, Papalia & Martorell, IBSN 9780077861841

Highly Recommended - An Introduction to Health Psychology. (2016), 4th Edition, Morrison & Bennett, Essex England: Pearson Education 9781292003139


Required - Microbiology and infection control for health professionals, Lee, G. & Bishop P., (2016), 6th edition, ISBN 9781486019144

Required - Value Pack Human Anatomy & Physiology, Global Edition + Modified Mastering A&P with Pearson eText + A Brief Atlas of the Human Body (2016) Marieb, & Hoehn, 10th edition, ISBN 9781488688102

Year 2:


Required - Medical-Surgical Nursing, Preparation for Practice (2013), Osborn, Wraa, Watson & Holleran, 2nd Edition, Boston: USA. Pearson, IBSN 9780132706698


Highly Recommended - Miller's Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults Australian & New Zealand, (2015) 2nd Edition, Miller, Wolters Kluwer, IBSN 9781922228758

Required - Mental Health A person centred approach, 1st Edition, Proctor, Hamer, McGarry, Wilson & Froggatt, Sydney Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Highly Recommended - Maternal and Child Nursing Care, (2013) 5th Edition, Ladewig, Davidson, Ball, Brindler, Boston: USA. Pearson, IBSN: 9780134167220


Required - Principles of Pathophysiology (2014) 1st Edition, Bullock & Hales, Boston: USA. Pearson, IBSN: 9780733994159

Please note that textbooks need to be ordered at least 3-4 weeks prior to the commencement of your study