Department of Health

Enrolled nurse to registered nurse transition scholarships

Find out who is eligible for an enrolled nurse (EN) to registered nurse (RN) transition scholarship and how to apply.

The Department of Health is offering scholarships and support to train and upskill the next generation of nurses and midwives. This includes enrolled nurse (EN) to registered nurse (RN) transition scholarships, which are available in 2023 and 2024.

This scholarship enables ENs who are employed in a public health service to undertake a relevant qualification to convert their diploma to a degree and gain registration as a RN.


The scholarships support ENs to complete a 2-year transition course – a transition from diploma to degree – that leads to registration as a RN. In 2024, scholarships are available to ENs commencing their transition course in Semester 1, 2024.

The full scholarship of $11,000 will be provided to eligible candidates over 4 years of both study and employment as follows:

  • $2,500 a year for 2 years of study
  • $3,000 a year for 2 years of employment, once study is completed and while employed in a Victorian public health service.

Funding to support approximately 2,000 enrolled nurses is available over 2023 and 2024.

Please note: Students that receive a EN to RN transition scholarship are not eligible for the Undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery scholarships as part of the Making it free to study nursing and midwifery initiative.

Eligibility criteria

Health service

Victorian public health services apply to the Department of Health for scholarships on behalf of their employed enrolled nursing staff.

The application round for scholarships for ENs commencing their transition course in 2024 closed on 15 December 2023.


To be eligible for a scholarship you must:

  • be an EN, holding current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia at the commencement of their studies
  • be considered a ‘domestic’ student for university application purposes, for example:
    • an Australian citizen
    • a New Zealand citizen (or dual citizenship holders of either Australia or New Zealand)
    • an Australian permanent resident, or
    • an Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder
  • be, and remain, employed in an eligible Victorian public health service as specified by the conditions of the scholarship
  • successfully apply for a transition or conversion course through VTAC or directly to an appropriate education provider (any enrolments before this time or deferrals of enrolments are not eligible)
  • enrol in Semester 1, 2024 of a transition or conversion study program (see course requirements below) that leads to qualification for registration as a registered nurse
  • not already qualify for registration as a registered nurse
  • only use the scholarship funds for the purpose of completing their nursing studies.

Eligible applicants must agree to both complete the course and work as a RN in a Victorian public health service for 2 years, at a minimum 0.6 FTE (full time equivalent) or pro rata equivalent. While studying, it's suggested that enrolled nurses are employed at a minimum of 0.2 FTE and a maximum of 0.6 FTE or pro rata equivalent.

In addition to this, recipients are responsible for enrolling and organising associated payments to their chosen education provider (including upfront payments or deferral by HECS-HELP loan) by the due date and for any study costs incurred beyond the value of the scholarship.

Studying part-time

Students that study part-time will be eligible to receive $2,500 each year for 2 years of study, up to a maximum of $5,000. However, if the student doesn’t obtain employment as an RN in a public health service within the 4 years of the scholarship funding period, they will not be eligible for the final $6,000 payment.

Casual employment

Enrolled nurses employed on a casual basis are eligible to receive scholarship payments while studying their transition course but are encouraged to meet the pro rata equivalent to 0.2-0.6 FTE.

On completing their transition course, enrolled nurses may be employed on a casual basis but must work as a registered nurse for 2 years at a minimum 0.6 FTE, or pro rata equivalent, to continue to receive the scholarship payments.


Enrolled nurses must successfully apply and enrol in a course that:

  • is a diploma to degree conversion course delivered by a university or an accredited higher education provider
  • is either face-to-face or online delivery
  • leads to an award of a qualification that, subject to Ahpra approval, leads to registration as a registered nurse on successful completion.

Scholarships will be prioritised for students enrolling in a course provided by an education provider with a campus located in Victoria or a border community (for example, Albury/Wodonga).

How to apply

Applications for this funding will be coordinated through Victorian public health services. Your public health service employer will manage the application process (including running an internal expression of interest process) and administer your funds.

ENs who are not currently employed at a Victorian public health service and who are interested in applying for a scholarship are encouraged to reach out to their local public health service to see what opportunities are available to them.

More information for applicants

If you are successful in gaining a scholarship, you are responsible for enrolling and completing the qualification by the due date. Also, for any study costs beyond the value of the scholarship.

If you need to defer or withdraw from studies, you must notify your employer within 1 week of the change in study arrangements.

If you plan to recommence study in the same year, you do not need to return the funds.

If you do not return to study in the same year, the funds will be recalled and returned to the health service.

If you transfer to another health service, it's up to your health service that originally received the scholarship (on your behalf) to decide whether to transfer it to your new health service.

The department is not required to withhold tax (PAYG) from scholarships paid. You should be aware:

The department strongly recommends that recipients seek independent tax advice for their scholarship payment.

Reviewed 16 January 2024


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