Department of Health

Nursing and midwifery graduate sign-on bonus

Find out about the $5,000 sign-on bonus for nursing and midwifery graduates.

As part of our commitment to strengthen Victoria’s nursing and midwifery workforce, a sign-on bonus of $5,000 is available to nursing and midwifery graduates.

To be eligible, you must graduate between 2022 to 2024 and start your career in a Victorian public health service, working for at least 2 years.

Timing of the sign-on bonus payment

The sign-on bonus is paid separately to your salary and you will be paid via a claims process in April and September each year. However, in 2023 payments will take place in June/July and September.

The bonus will be split into 2 payments:

  • Depending on when your graduate program start date is, the first $2500 will be paid in either the April or September payment round (the 2 payment rounds in 2023 will be June/July or September)
  • The second $2500 will be paid after you complete 2 full years of continuous employment with your eligible health service. This is calculated from your graduate program start date at a minimum of 0.8 FTE or pro rata equivalent.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the first sign-on bonus instalment you must:

  • be currently registered as a nurse or midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
  • have graduated from an eligible Australian undergraduate nursing or midwifery course in 2022, 2023 or 2024
  • have begun a nursing, mental health nursing or midwifery graduate program in a Victorian public health service
  • start the graduate program in the same calendar year or the calendar year immediately following course completion.

To be eligible for the second sign-on bonus instalment you must have:

  • received the first sign-on bonus payment
  • completed 2 full years of continuous employment within an eligible health service. This is from the commencement date of the graduate program at a minimum of 0.8 FTE or pro rata equivalent.

Who isn’t eligible?

The sign-on bonus will not be available to nurses and midwives who:

  • participate in a graduate program in a non-eligible health service
  • did not graduate from an eligible Australian undergraduate nursing and/or midwifery course in 2022, 2023 or 2024
  • are not eligible for the first sign-on bonus instalment
  • work for less than 2 consecutive years in an eligible health service
  • studied as an international full-fee paying student/temporary resident
  • have previously received a department sign-on bonus to start a graduate nursing or midwifery program.

How to apply

This program is funded through the Victorian Government Department of Health and is administered on behalf of the State of Victoria by its departments, including the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) and the Department of Government Services (DGS).

Your employer is responsible for submitting a list of eligible graduates to the DGS.

When your name has been submitted, you will be invited to login into the Sign-on Bonus Portal via an email from DGS.

Once in the portal, you will be asked to confirm your details and sign a grant agreement to claim your payment. There will be a 4-week period to sign a grant and submit your claim, when they open.

More information

‘Graduated’ relates to when you have successfully completed all required academic and clinical requirements of your course. It does not mean the graduation ceremony date, completion certificate date or issue of exam results date.

If you received the first payment of the sign-on bonus but withdraw later from the graduate program, you will not be required to repay the sign-on bonus.

Paid and unpaid parental leave is not considered and interruption to your 2-year commitment and won’t affect your claim for the second bonus payment. However, parental leave must not exceed one year. Also, you must return to work before receiving the second bonus payment.

You can only claim the sign-on bonus once through one employer, not through multiple employers.

You may be liable to pay tax on your sign-on bonus payment/s. For more information, see information on bonus payments on the Australian Taxation OfficeExternal Link website.

The department strongly recommends that recipients seek independent tax advice for their sign-on bonus payment/s.

If you change your place of employment to a new public health service from where you commenced your graduate program you should:

  • provide your new Victorian public health service with evidence of your eligibility for the sign-on bonus (for example, a statement of employment from your previous Victorian public health service)
  • login to the program portal and update your personal details including new employer
  • be aware the gap between finishing at one Victorian public health service and starting at another must not exceed 28 days in total across the 2-year commitment.

Reviewed 07 June 2023


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