Re-entry to Nursing scholarships are a NSW Government initiative to help previously registered or enrolled nurses re-enter the NSW public health system when they undertake a fee-paying re-entry to nursing program approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). Up to $10,000 will be awarded for each scholarship.

The scholarships target individuals who have been away from nursing for 5–10 years and therefore do not meet the NMBA's recency of practice standard. This standard requires the equivalent of three months full-time practice in the previous five years in order to retain registration. Individuals who do not meet the recency of practice standard may be directed to undertake a NMBA approved re-entry to nursing program to regain their registration and return to practice.

More information about the NMBA’s Recency of Practice Standard is available.

Currently the only NMBA approved re-entry programs in NSW are Australian College of Nursing (ACN) - Return to Register (RTR)  and the Sydney Adventist Hospital Re-entry for Registered Nurses.

Scholarship recipients need to attend ACN at Parramatta for five weeks to undertake their theoretical update and have their clinical skills assessed in a simulated environment. The remaining six weeks is the clinical component which can be undertaken at health facilities across NSW – in rural, regional or metropolitan locations. This is subject to ACN working with Local Health Districts/Specialty Health Networks (LHD/SHN) to organise a suitable placement.

Applicants may also apply for a scholarship to participate in an NMBA approved re-entry to nursing program available in other states as long as they are prepared to work in a NSW public hospital for two years on completion of the program and upon regaining of their registration. On-line programs are now available at Central Queensland University and the Institute of Health and Nursing Australia.

The awarding of a scholarship is linked to employment and recipients must be prepared to accept an offer of permanent full or part time employment (minimum 16 hours per week) within the NSW public health system for two years upon successful completion of an NMBA approved re-entry to nursing program and upon regaining of registration.

Eligibility criteria

  • Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • Previously registered, having not practised for 5-10 years, currently unable to meet NMBA registration requirements and have been formally advised by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency on behalf of the NMBA to undertake an NMBA approved re-entry to nursing program in order to regain registration.
  • Previous experience in the public health system utilising nursing skills and knowledge. Relevant nursing experience in the private or not-for-profit sectors will be taken into consideration.
  • Submission of a short essay to the relevant LHD/SHN in which you would like to practise. The essay must outline how the scholarship will benefit you in returning to nursing and what your future intentions are with respect to nursing.
  • Successful at interview for a vacant position.
  • Acceptance of employment into a permanent full or part time position in the NSW public health system for a period of two years (minimum 16 hours per week).
  • Successful completion of an NMBA approved re-entry to nursing program.
  • Satisfactory employment screening checks.
  • Registration with the NMBA.

Scholarship funding being utilised towards an NMBA approved re-entry to nursing program.

Further information

Suitable applicants will be offered an interview subject to their being a suitable vacancy available within a LHD/SHN. Applicants will be interviewed by the relevant LHD/SHN, and will need to demonstrate that they meet the selection criteria for a vacant nursing position within the LHD/SHN, apart from registration which will follow. Those successful at interview will be recommended for a re-entry scholarship.

Successful scholarship applicants will be required to refund all or part of their scholarship funding should they not proceed with or complete their re-entry to nursing program, take up their offer of employment or fulfil the requirement to work for a period of two years (minimum 16 hours per week) in the NSW public health system.

There is currently no re-entry to midwifery programs available in NSW.

For further information contact the Nursing and Midwifery Office, NSW Ministry of Health on (02) 9391 9528.​​

Page Updated: Tuesday 2 August 2016