Few nursing careers offer this level of variety. Learn to be a leader and gain outdoor, adventure and weapons skills.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Starting Salary
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About the role

Nursing in the New Zealand Army stems from the long and determined struggle of those dedicated civilian nurses who saw that the care of soldiers in military campaigns was less than adequate, and resulted in greater losses from sickness and disease than from wounds received during the course of battle.

Job on base

Nursing Officers work in a variety of practice areas both at home and away. These areas include primary health care, perioperative, high dependency, surgical and emergency nursing. Flexibility of practice is a key component of nursing in the Defence Force due to the types of military operations they may be required to support.

The Army provide the tools to enable Nursing Officers to achieve this flexibility through training, education, supervision and mentoring.

Job on deployment

Nowadays military nursing is a respected specialist area of practice. Nursing Officers not only contribute to the operational readiness of service personnel but frequently deploy overseas themselves.

I went with the Provincial Reconstruction Team as the Regimental Nursing Officer to Bamiyan. That was definitely a real highlight being able to help people less fortunate than us.

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic Training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

Selected Nursing Officers may be posted to New Zealand Army establishments to support this Service’s personnel in primary health care and flight nursing.

If you have referred to the minimum requirements below but would like more information on this role please email specialists@defencecareers.mil.nz


Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do a six week specialist officer military training course to teach you the basics of being in the Army. The course is designed to assist you in your integration into the Army and although it is challenging, it’s specifically catered for specialist officers. You will be taught the basics including:

  • Navigation
  • Weapon handling
  • Leadership
  • Drill and barrack routine
  • Living in the field
  • Army Ethos and Values

There are also opportunities to further your professional development and tertiary study. After initial employment and training, the NZ Army will provide funding for Nursing Officers to undertake further education with approved courses of study that are pertinent to their professional roles.

There is an expectation that Nursing Officers will achieve the necessary competencies to practice safely in more than one specialist area of practice, e.g. primary health care and emergency nursing or perioperative nursing and infection control.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.




starting salary


Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements

Fitness and Medical
Period of Service
  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • A current New Zealand Nursing registration and a current Annual Practising Certificate.
  • Ideally, two years post graduate experience (Less time can be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required SV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


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