All foreign nurses who wish to work in New Zealand are now required to go through a difficult English proficiency test as dictated by its new hiring rules of New Zealandís Nursing Council. There is no exception to the policy and even includes applicants from Britain and other English-speaking countries.
To qualify, an applicant needs a score of 7 or higher in each band of the IELTS (International English language testing system). This is higher than the entry requirement of university which is 6.
A lot of Filipino nurses in New Zealand view the new policy as unfair and prejudicial because it makes it harder for them to apply for hospital jobs that they are qualified to even if there is already a shortage of nurses. Nurses who are not able to get a score of 7 are forced to settle on unskilled jobs that offer only minimum wage.
Some nurses believed that the new requirement was created so that local nurses in New Zealand would have a great advantage over foreign applicants. This is what makes the rules unfair and prejudicial.
Another rule added by the New Zealandís Nursing council is that all nurses to be accepted for employment should have a four-year nursing degree. Applicants with degrees that are less than four yeas are now considered ineligible for employment.
The rule on nursing degrees posed a bigger problem for Filipino nurses in New Zealand because majority of them have other degrees prior to nursing. As nursing is only their second course, they were able to finish it for less than four years as they do not have to take other subjects previously taken.
Recruiters in New Zealand also think that the new policy will not be helpful Moreover,
The director of A1 Care 24-7, an agency that hired foreign nurses, Rodney Faulkner, view the new rule as ďstupid and will just add to New Zealandís loss."