The New Zealand Nursing Council says it may need to target children in primary schools to set them up for careers in health care.
Chief executive Carolyn Reed is delighted that the rate of Maori graduating from nursing programmes has risen to 13%.
Tangata whenua currently make up 7% of registered nurses, but account for 15% of the entire population.
Ms Reed says the rise is heartening, but more work needs to be done to keep lifting those numbers.
She says the next step might be to go into primary schools and begin to set an expectation or excitement of nursing as a career.
Ms Reed says all nurses agree that a workforce which better reflects the population will improve health outcomes.