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
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.

Officer Cadet School

(12 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

Initial training begins in early January. Attendees at this training will be a mixture of Regular Force General List Officer Cadets, Regular Force Special List Officer Cadets, and Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets.

The training will be split into three modules and attendance at Modules One, Two and Three is required for all Regular Force Officer Cadets. Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets must attend Modules One and Three; this can be in the same year or in consecutive years.

Training covers:

  • NZ Army Ethos and Values
  • Self-leadership
  • Physical Training
  • Basic field-craft
  • Military Unarmed Combat
  • Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure
  • Weapon handling
  • Drill
  • NZ Army tactics
  • Leadership

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.


Starting salary


Future potential earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Registered Nurse holding a current Nursing Council of New Zealand Annual Practising Certificate.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • Registered Nurse holding a current Nursing Council of New Zealand Annual Practising Certificate
  •  Ideally, two years post registration experience in one of the following practice areas*
    • 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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