Nursing Officer

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.

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.

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.

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

Your initial remuneration will be based on previous experience and skill level. This is negotiated on a case by case basis. As your career continues, remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship & 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.


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.