A course that has seen hundreds of international nursing students train in Rotorua will be scrapped from next year.
Waiariki Institute of Technology's Bachelor in Nursing for Registered Nurses Course (BNRN) will be scrapped after students on the course had to fight this year to stay on track to receive their nursing registrations.
This course acts as a pathway for overseas qualified nurses to become eligible for nursing registration in New Zealand, by completing one year's study at Waiariki.
The Bachelor of Nursing course, a separate three-year degree, will continue.
The Nursing Council of New Zealand, which is in charge of the registration of nurses in New Zealand, reviewed an overseas nursing qualification last year and found it was below the standard required to gain registration.
Waiariki chief executive Keith Ikin said the removal of the programme had to happen at least until they could gain better assurance for their future students.
"We won't be enrolling in BNRN next year and probably won't continue with that pathway."
International students in the BNRN course this year must complete an extra block course and assessment at the end of the year to meet the standard set by the Nursing Council.
Mr Ikin said a lack of communication with the Nursing Council had led to the recent predicament, with students only finding out their overseas qualifications were not good enough earlier this year when others were declined their registrations.
Mr Ikin said a decision was yet to be made about the future of their second pathway course for international nursing students, the Graduate Certificate in Infection Prevention and Control.
About 300 affected students and recent graduates on this course still have no strong solutions put forward to them, with many likely to miss out on becoming Registered Nurses this year.
"We have got to get the right solution for our current students," Mr Ikin said.
He said after that they would look at the future of the course and better communication with the Nursing Council but at this stage that was priority number two.
Mr Ikin said Waiariki had recently sent through a new idea for the Nursing Council to consider regarding these students, which would see all their international nursing students placed under the BNRN pathway just for this year. They are yet to receive a response.
He said the issues arising this year for overseas nursing students had damaged their international market.
"That has damaged the reputation of our whole international student space.
"International students can choose anywhere in the world to go and they expect quality, safety and consistency.
"This scenario stands the risk of showing we are inconsistent," Mr Ikin said.
Nursing Council chief executive Carolyn Reed formerly told The Daily Post that their highest priority was to protect the quality of New Zealand nurses.
"The Nursing Council's role is to protect public safety. All nurses registering in New Zealand, whether new graduates or overseas-registered nurses, are required to meet the same standard."
She said they had offered the infection prevention and control students solutions to lift them out of their current predicament, such as retraining completely or registering as an enrolled nurse, a lower qualification than a Registered Nurse.
"I believe what is stopping the students from taking the pathways offered is that they have an expectation that they will be registered in the 'Registered Nurse' scope of practice," Ms Reed said.
A Qualifications Authority (NZQA) review looking closely at Waiariki Institute of Technology's admission processes for international students and the information provided around qualifications is due out next week.