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

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    09 January, 2022
Army Nursing Officer MTP
Army Nursing Officer MTP 2

About the role

As a Nursing Officer, you will 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 you may be required to support.

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

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

Job on base

Nursing Officers are located in all military camps and bases around New Zealand with the majority of medical personnel posted to the Manawatu region. Nursing Officers are expected to conduct a range of duties including clinical practice, military skills maintenance, leadership and administration.


They will work in a variety of team based settings whether that is a multidisciplinary health team or alongside military personnel from other trades. As an Officer it is also expected that you can work independently without supervision in activities such as resource management, personnel administration, and planning training. 

Job on deployment

Nursing Officers not only contribute to the operational readiness of service personnel by supporting exercises, but frequently deploy overseas themselves.


As a Nursing Officer, you will have the opportunity to deploy wherever the NZ Defence Force goes, both on operational deployments and humanitarian aid or disaster relief missions. Few nursing careers offer this level of variety.


Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

There are many opportunities for advancement into management areas as your experience increases.  You will also have the opportunity to post to different bases around New Zealand to broaden your knowledge of military nursing.

Initial Induction Training (IIT) – Jan/Mar

(8 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

All direct entry NZ Army Officer Cadets and selected individuals are required to complete IIT. This full-time course will introduce potential officers to the standards and discipline required to be an effective member of the New Zealand Army. It is designed to train basic individual military skills which includes:

  • Self-leadership
  • Physical Training
  • Field-craft
  • Military Unarmed Combat
  • Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Drill
  • Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure

Individuals wishing to conduct IIT need to be motivated, adaptable, resilient, physically fit and have a desire to be an effective leader within the New Zealand Defence Force.

Specialist Officer Induction Course (SOIC) – Mar/Apr

(6 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

This course is designed for personnel who are employed by the New Zealand Army for their specialist skills. Specialist officers are required to complete this course in their first year of employment. Those enlisting into the Territorial Force will have the option of completing the course in two modules in consecutive years. Students will learn how to utilise ad integrate their specialist skills within the context of the New Zealand Army. This course provides an introduction to the military skills required of Specialist Officers which includes:

  • Basic field-craft
  • Weapon handling
  • NZ Army Ethos and Values
  • Leadership
  • NZ Army tactics

There are 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.

You will also be further developed in military skills of leadership and planning.


Army Army Nursing Officer full width

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.


Registered Graduate


Higher Rank

Military Factor

All full time members of the NZ Defence Force receive an added portion to their salary known as Military Factor. This additional compensation recognises the unique nature of military service and the commitment you make to serve your country. This can include short notice postings around the country and overseas. You will be directed at times to be continuously alert, undertake arduous and hazardous duties, and be exposed to adverse working environments exclusive to military life. This also includes the exercise of military skills not recognised by market comparisons. The part you play in our Defence Force and your commitment to our country will be financially rewarded.

Free medical and dental

5 weeks annual leave

Access to additional compensation and housing allowances

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Defence discounts at selected stores and services

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 in one of the following practice areas*
    • primary health care, 
    • perioperative,
    • high dependency, 
    • surgical, or
    • emergency nursing.

*Alternatives 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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