New Zealand nurses should sit IELTS.
Article Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Weststrate, Jan
Pub Date: 02/01/2009
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Feb, 2009 Source Volume: 15 Source Issue: 1
Accession Number: 194904176
Full Text: Thank you for the interesting article about the experiences of oversees--trained nurses working in New Zealand (A mixed picture: The experience of overseas-trained nurses in New Zealand, Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, November 2008, pp18-19). It certainty shows continuing your nursing career in New Zealand is not necessarily straightforward.

I would like to comment on the remark concerning fairness, and the suggestion that all incoming overseas-trained nurses should have their English language skills tested, with the point being made that New Zealand nurses also undergo similar tests in the United Kingdom. If this is presumed to be "fair", the assumption could be made that the language skills of New Zealand-trained nurses should also be equivalent to the required International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic level for overseas-trained nurses (average of at least a 7 and not below a 7 for any part). Currently there is no evidence this is the case* This situation has been challenged in a previous publication of Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand (Language requirements exclude overseas nurses from practice, June 2008, pp16-17), and it would appear only fair to have every New Zealand-trained nurse pass an IELTS examination before they apply for registration with the Nursing Council.

Fairness means the same applies for everyone involved, regardless of whether you are trained outside or inside New Zealand. As NZNO represents all nurses working in New Zealand, it is only fair it supports such a proposition.

Jan Weststrate, RN, PhD, Wellington
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