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A unique qualification preparing registered nurses for advanced  practice nursing as a mātanga tapuhi nurse practitioner (NP)

Master of Advanced Nursing 2020 thumbnail The programme is designed to equip graduates with skills and knowledge to address rapid developments in health technology and bioscience, the integration of health services, and the expanding levels of client engagement.

This research-informed degree aligns with strategic directions for improving the health of populations, and provides teaching and clinical experiences to meet the diverse contemporary health needs of New Zealanders.

This degree is approved by the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ). Potential applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the required qualifications and competencies; these are available on the Nursing Council website.

Nursing Council of New Zealand

The majority of this programme is taught in block courses from our Christchurch campus, with some online components.

The University of Otago is partnering with University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington in offering the Nurse Practitioner Training Programme (NPTP), which funds limited places for the completion of the last two practicum papers of the MAdvNP degree.

Further information on the NPTP and the application form

Additional resources for preparation and readiness for the Nurse Practitioner final practicum year

Why Otago?

  • QS World University Rankings logo - Nursing Top 100 in 2022 1xThe Departement of Nursing (formerly the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies) is ranked in the top 100 nursing schools in the world
  • The University of Otago is ranked in the top 1 per cent of universities worldwide, and has a QS rating of five stars plus (the highest-possible rating)
  • We have over 15 years' experience providing NP education
  • The programme is taught by experienced NPs and clinicians
  • It has a broad focus for the authorised scope of NP as described by the Nursing Council of New Zealand
  • You will learn in a research-driven, quality blended learning environment
  • We offer pathways for progression from designated nurse prescribing to the MAdvNP

About the MAdvNP

The MAdvNP is a focused pathway of study toward the Mātanga Tapuhi Nurse Practitioner (authorised prescriber) scope of practice under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) 2003.

The degree is underpinned by mastery learning principles, and builds on the nurse's relevant clinical and professional practice. It provides opportunities for candidates to meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies for Nurse Practitioners (NCNZ 2017).

The degree is underpinned by mastery learning principles, and builds on the nurse's relevant clinical and professional practice.

Students who have graduated with the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences for RN prescribing may be eligible for up to 120 points credit.

The prescribing practicums involve completing supervised clinical experience with an authorised prescriber in relevant health service organisations. Applicants must provide evidence of employer support in accommodating their clinical learning, and identify the population(s) that will be the focus for their learning and future practice.

Graduates will be well prepared to lead in direct care:

  • Gaining enhanced capacity to practice collaboratively and autonomously in their field
  • Interpreting and applying new knowledge to enable the translation of research into practice to benefit those they nurse
  • Contributing positively to society

Principles of Mastery of the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice
The Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (MAdvNP) Mastery Learning Model.

Degree structure

The 240-point programme is a taught degree consisting of eight papers: five taught papers, one clinical research project and two prescribing practicums.

Normally the degree is completed in three steps, commencing with a 60-point postgraduate certificate, undertaking a further 60-points leads to a 120-point postgraduate diploma, before progressing to the final 120 points totalling the 240-point Master's qualification.

Core Concept Papers

  • NURS 405 Health Assessment and Advanced Nursing Practice
  • NURS 416 Nursing – Applied Pharmacology
  • NURS 427 Long-Term Conditions: Pathophysiology and Management
  • NURS 435 Evidence Based Nursing Practice

Specialty Practice paper options

Clinical research project

Two prescribing practicums

  • NURS 434 Therapeutics: Knowledge and Integration*


  • NURS 530 Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Practicum (this will be the last paper studied)
* Completion of NURS 429 Therapeutics for Advanced Nursing may be considered for a 30 point credit

How to apply

Start your application at the MAdvNP qualification page

Entry requirements

Every applicant shall normally be required to satisfy all of the following:

  • be a New Zealand registered nurse, with a current New Zealand Annual Practising Certificate, and be in good standing with the Nursing Council of New Zealand;
  • have completed a minimum of three years' equivalent full-time relevant practice within the last five years (with at least one of the three years in full-time practice in New Zealand);
  • be capable of meeting the requirements of Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act (HPCA 2003) and Children's Act (VCA 2014) requirements, including immunisation and police clearance;
  • have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging a B or better.

For advice regarding your study pathway, please contact:

Coordinator, Student Experience

Visit the Nursing Council of New Zealand website for information about the competencies and requirements for nurse practitioners.

Nursing Council of New Zealand

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