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About ACE Nursing

Eligibility for ACE Nursing

Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to apply to ACE Nursing for a new graduate NETP or NESP position

ACE Nursing Process Overview

Get an overview of the full ACE Nursing process from submitting your application to starting on the programme.

ACE Nursing Statistics

Be informed about statistics from previous ACE Nursing intakes

Application Requirements

Specific information about what you need to do to submit your application to ACE Nursing

Vacancy and Position Information

Information on which employers are taking part in each intake and which practice setting areas you can preference

2017 Application Intake Dates

Ensure you are familiar with when applications open, close and other key dates. Full timelines available here

Employer Contact Information

Contact details and key information including DHB NETP career pages for each employer involved in the ACE Nursing process

ACE Nursing Resources

Access to the Applicant Guide, CV templates, Nursing School Presentations, Referee Report Forms and other career information

ACE Nursing Talent Pool

Unsure about how the Talent Pool works? Check out all the info here including further options for graduate nurses


Below are some common questions about the ACE application process

  • About the ACE process

    ACE stands for Advanced Choice of Employment; it is a collaborative graduate recruitment process that assists graduate Nurses to find their first job in a NETP or NESP programme across New Zealand. ACE allows graduates to apply and provide their application documentation through one centralised point. This process will allow all employers (up to 3 preferences for each application), to review their applicants and then interview those applicants that match their organisations employment criteria.

    Following the employer selection process, employers provide ACE with a list of their preferred applicants. Finally the ACE process uses a computer algorithm to best match the applicant’s preference with the employer’s preference ensuring that graduates only receive one job offer and ensuring the maximum number of graduates will receive job offers during the graduate intake round. There is a strong expectation that these job offers will be accepted as any match job offer that is rejected will see that graduate removed from the current intake and subsequent talent pool for that intake.

    Please note that although ACE is the only way you are able to apply for a Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) or New Entry to Specialty Practice (NESP) Mental Health & Addiction Nursing Programme, however, in the case that you are not initially matched to a position you are able to apply directly to employers for Registered Nurse positions and any other clinical positions not associated with an entry to practice programme. You can login to Kiwi Health Jobs or any DHB career websites to search for current vacancies.

  • Private Surgical Hospitals

    With the exception of Southern Cross Hospitals, you cannot apply for positions with private employers through the ACE programme. Private employers must have a relationship with DHB's through the external providers initiative and at this stage these positions are limited. If you want to find out more, please talk with your NETP coordinator about the external providers that they have relationships with, alternatively you will need to apply directly to the private surgical hospital you wish to work for in order to be considered for positions with them.

  • Required ACE Application Documents

    With each application you will be required to provide the following documentation in addition to further personal information in order to make your application complete. Please note that there are documents that must be verified in order for your application to be valid and complete.

    • Certified or Verified Residency and Citizenship Documents – You will need to provide certified copies of one full set of identification documents to meet the proof of residency and identification requirements. If you have had a statutory name change by deed poll, please provide the proof by scanning this document with your Driver's License or Student Identification Card (This must be scanned as one PDF).
      • New Zealand Citizens: The photo page of New Zealand Passport plus New Zealand Tertiary Student Identification Card or New Zealand Driver’s License.
      • For New Zealand Citizens in lieu of a New Zealand Passport and Driver's License, ACE will accept a New Zealand Citizenship Certificate or New Zealand Full Birth Certificate that is issued on or after 1 January 1998 and that carries a unique identification number.
      • Australian Citizens: The photo page of Australian Passport plus New Zealand Tertiary Student Identification Card or New Zealand Driver’s License.
      • Permanent Resident Visa Holders: The photo page of an Overseas Passport plus the relevant Visa Document plus New Zealand Tertiary Student Identification Card or New Zealand Driver’s License.
      • All citizenship and residency documents that are uploaded against your application must be verified and sighted.
    • Two References - 1 from a Clinical Tutor and 1 from a Nurse Preceptor or Nurse Educator. To enhance your application, please ensure that you use your most recent educators and preceptors. Allow as much time as possible to communicate with your referee's that these need to be completed.
    • For students beginning their final placements late, ACE will allow you to use your Semester 5 preceptors/clinical tutors. Once you have completed your semester 6 placement (or nearing the end of your Semester 6 placement) please email ACE with your final placement details so that this information can be passed on to your NETP coordinator for further checks if necessary.
    • Academic Transcripts - Verified copies must be stamped and signed by the signatory. Failure to do so may result in your application being incomplete.
    • CVYou are welcome to follow your own format, or use our standard template which you can download from the resources section in the ACE website.
    • Cover Letters – Uploading at least 1 generic cover letter is mandatory and you can address a single cover letter to all of your ranked employers (up to 3) OR you can upload a different cover letter for each employer you rank. 

    Please download the Applicant Guide 2017 which is available from the resources section of the ACE Nursing website and follow the step-by-step instructions which will include the information you need to complete your application.

  • Cover Letters

    You are encouraged to communicate with and do some research on the employers that you have chosen to apply to. Information about your employers can be found by researching their career websites and asking key people in the organisation questions about their organisation. From this information you will come to understand that each employer has specific areas of practice that may be of interest to you. Some of these areas will be similar to other employers, some will be different and specific to that employer and the region that they cover; therefore, each cover letter should be very specific for the employer that you are interested in applying to. Cover letters should never be more than 1 page long appx 330 words. You should include:

    1. Brief introduction
    2. Brief summary of your skills and abilities: You should clearly communicate your nursing philosophy to your prospective employers.
    3. Your main reasons for choosing each employer: You should first clearly state your main reasons for choosing that employer as one of your preferred places to work. Tell each employer why you are interested in a NETP or NESP position at that organisation and what you can offer them. Note that employers cannot see the order in which you've ranked them. We recommend you pay close attention when writing your cover letters and ensure that you are not addressing them to the incorrect employer. Your application will not seriously be considered if you are applying to Whanganui DHB and yet you are talking about why you want to work for Lakes DHB.
    4. Practice settings: You can also choose up to 3 practice areas or specialties that you are interested to work in, and again there will be some differences in practice settings offered across the 3 employers that you have selected. For each employer you've selected, you should make every effort to include the full reasons why you have chosen your areas of clinical practice and why you have set these in your order of 1/2/3. Employers will be able to see your choices of specialty in the order you have selected them. If you are highly focused on gaining a position in your first chosen specialty area, you should say so. If you would be happy working in any one of your 3 choices, again you should note that on your cover letters. Please be aware that employers may offer you an interview in a practice setting that you did not select. It is recommended that you do not decline an interview in this case, but you should discuss this in further depth with the employer.
    5. Finally, include any other details that you think are relevant to your application for a NETP/NESP position.

    You should also consider who you address your cover letter's to, our recommendations are as follows:

    You should address your generic cover letter to:

    Dear NetP Coordinator,


    Kind Regards,


    Each individual employer cover letter should be addressed to:

    Employer DHB

    Dear NetP Coordinator, (Employer names can be found in the employer information section).


    Kind Regards,


    ACE recommends addressing the letter to the NETP coordinator directly and include the full address of the organisation at the top left of your cover letter. This small attention to detail will signal to the coordinator that you are taking the time to address them individually. You can find an up to date version of their details in our employer information section. Remember to conclude your cover letter by thanking them for considering your application and leave all of your current contact information.

  • Can I be matched to an employer I don’t want to work for?

    You can only be matched to an employer you have selected and ranked as one of your preferred places to work. Please do not rank any employer you do not wish to work at, because if you are matched to that employer, our expectation is that you will accept their job offer. We anticipate that there will be more applicants than positions available, rejecting your job offer from the ACE match process will see you unable to take up a new graduate position within any one of the 20 DHB services, aged residential care, primary health care services, or other agreed provider’s such as Southern Cross Hospitals. 

  • I have not been matched, what are my options?

    You will be placed into the ACE Talent Pool of available applicants. This talent pool is distributed to every employer that uses the ACE process, including those outside of your initial preferences. 

    Employers may contact candidates in the Talent Pool directly over the following weeks and months as further vacancies arise. If you are prepared to accept jobs with other employers that you had not initially ranked in your application you might like to write to the NETP and NESP Coordinators in those organisations and let them know that you are on the talent pool and prepared to work for them should an opportunity arise. 

    ACE recommends that you also visit the Kiwi Health Jobs website, the careers pages of employers and seek or TradeMe to research the nursing job market. This can be useful for a number of reasons. You will gain an insight into the culture of the hospitals you are thinking about applying to and usually job or position descriptions will be attached to each job number outlining the requirements, skill and experience required to fulfil a RN role. Furthermore this will give you an insight into the areas of practice that each hospital specialises in. It would be helpful for you to research or review these before you make your application. You will usually find that employers advertise for RN’s with 2 or more years of experience. Do not be discouraged, if you are vigilant you will come across vacancies where employers are looking for new graduates to fill positions alongside HCA’s, EN’s and experienced RN’s. Finally, there are other graduate programmes that exist outside of the NETP programme. You need to research these for yourselves; they usually exist in private hospitals and some leading aged residential care facilities. You may, for example, be able to find positions within Primary Health, Aged Residential Care, Community Care or Private Surgical Hospitals that are not necessarily covered by the NETP programme. To do this you would need to contact and apply directly to these service providers for any positions they may have available. 

    1 month prior to each intake ACE will send an email to all eligible applicants who have not been employed inviting them to apply. Your application will not be automatically included for any future intakes. However, ACE will transfer key parts of your previous details and documents if and when you re-apply. It is your responsibility to re-apply and complete the rest of your application.

    For more information about re-applying, please click on the Re-applying FAQ link below. For full details on what happens if you are not matched can be found in the talent pool section of the ACE Nursing website.

  • Contact ACE


    E-Mail -

    Phone - 0800 223 236

    Postal - PO Box 112147, Penrose, Auckland 1642 

  • March State Sitters

    New graduates who are required to retake their state finals in March 2018 and subsequently pass will be eligible for the talent pool and/or to commence NETP in April 2018.

    New graduates who know at the time of their application that they cannot sit state finals until March 2018 and pass will be eligible for the talent pool and/or to commence NETP in April 2018.

    These candidates will be required to indicate on their application that they will be a 'late start applicant' due to sitting state in March 2018.

    Please note that you must have applied for the End of Year 2017 intake in order to be eligible.

  • Re-applying to ACE

    All re-applicants who still meet the eligibility criteria must login to the ACE Nursing website with their existing user name and password. On the right hand panel you will see 'Applications for Nursing are open' start your new application. All re - applicants need to click and commence their application as though applying for the first time.

    1 month prior to each intake ACE will send an email to all eligible applicants who have not been employed inviting them to apply. ACE will not automatically upload your previous application, you must log in to your profile to reapply from August 16th 2017. ACE will transfer key parts of your previous details and documents if and when you re-apply. It is your responsibility to re-apply and complete the rest of your application.

    Your previous referee details will be retained in your new application. If you would like to change referee's, please contact ACE on 0800 223 236. A new reference request with unique ID will be sent to the referee outlining the next steps and the reference due date. Your referee must complete your reference report form by the time applications close.

    Your previous certified academic transcript will be uploaded to your new application. If there are additions to your results since you last application, you can upload this new transcript. Note only academic transcripts that meet the requirements outlined in the application requirements section of the site will be able to be attached to your application.

    To check the eligibility criteria and the full ACE Nursing process further, please see the Application Guide in the ACE Resources section.

Apply Now!

Register here and get your career started
Apply Here

  0800 223 236