Department of Health

Re-entry pathway scholarships for nurses and midwives

Learn who is eligible for the re-entry pathway and how to apply.

As part of the Making it free to study nursing and midwifery initiative, the Department of Health is offering scholarships for up to 25 registered nurses and midwives each year, for a 4-year period, to return to practice via the re-entry pathway.

The re-entry pathway supports those who have previously held registration as a registered nurse or midwife in Australia, but do not meet the current requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)External Link to hold registration.

These nurses and midwives are required to complete a NMBA approved re-entry to practice program to return to clinical practice in Australia.

The funding support will contribute to course costs and associated living expenses during your study, including while completing clinical placements.

In 2024, 20 re-entry to nursing scholarships will be delivered by La Trobe University.

Re-entry to midwifery scholarships may be available in future financial years.


Funding will be allocated to eligible individuals who complete the NMBA approved re-entry to nursing practice program offered by La Trobe UniversityExternal Link .

The total scholarship value is $15,000 per successful candidate.

An initial payment of $9,000 will be made at the commencement of the course. This payment is intended to cover the cost of pre-paid course fees. Where a student has not pre-paid for the course, La Trobe University may deduct the cost of the course fees from the initial scholarship payment.

A final payment of $6,000 will be made at the start of the clinical placement, subject to satisfactory completion of the online course component. This payment is intended to assist with costs associated with the clinical placement component of the course.

Registered nurses interested in applying for the scholarship must meet the requirements of the NMBA Re-entry to practice policyExternal Link and successfully apply for the re-entry to practice program run by La Trobe University.

Students are responsible for organising associated course payments to La Trobe University by the due date (including up-front payments or deferral by HECS-HELP/FEE-HELP loan). Students are also responsible for any costs incurred beyond the value of the scholarship.

Scholarships will be administered each financial year. To receive a scholarship, you will be required to provide proof of course offer and other relevant information, for example, evidence of clinical nursing or midwifery experience.

Note: Victorian public health services that host a re-entry to nursing scholarship recipient for their clinical placement, as part of their re-entry to nursing course, will receive $3,000 per student. This is intended to contribute to administration and clinical supervision costs.


To be eligible for the re-entry to practice scholarships, you must:

  • be a domestic student. For the purposes of this scholarship this is defined as:
    • 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
  • have previously been registered in Australia as a nurse and have had at least 2 years of relevant Australian clinical registered nursing or midwifery experience
  • meet the requirements outlined in the NMBA Re-entry to practice policyExternal Link that requires you to complete a re-entry program of study to regain registered nursing registration
  • meet the prerequisite/entry requirements specified by La Trobe University for the re-entry to practice program
  • successfully apply and enrol in the re-entry to practice program offered by La Trobe University
  • currently reside in Victoria or a border community (see under 'More information for applicants')
  • not have previously received a department scholarship to study in registered nursing or midwifery
  • be committed to work in nursing or midwifery at the completion of the course within a Victorian public health service.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, see the La Trobe University websiteExternal Link .

More information for applicants

If you are successful in gaining a scholarship, you are responsible for enrolling in and completing the program of study in line with course requirements.

You are responsible for organising associated payments to your chosen education provider by the due date (including up-front payments or deferral by HECS-HELP/FEE-HELP loan) and for any study costs incurred beyond the value of the scholarship.

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

  • you may be liable to pay tax on your scholarship. For more information, see the calculator on the Australian Taxation Office websiteExternal Link
  • you may be entitled to claim a tax deduction for self-education expenses. For more information, see the Australian Taxation Office websiteExternal Link .
  • it is strongly recommended that you obtain relevant professional advice on any impact the payment of a scholarship has on benefits paid under an Australian Government scheme, for example, Austudy, Abstudy, aged or disability carer allowances, and pensions.

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

  • Border community regions align with those specified during the COVID-19 pandemic as follows.

    New South Wales

    • Balranald Shire
    • Bega Valley Shire
    • Berrigan Shire
    • City of Albury
    • City of Broken Hill
    • City of Wagga Wagga
    • Edward River Council
    • Federation Council
    • Greater Hume Shire
    • Hay Shire
    • Lockhart Shire
    • Murray River Council
    • Murrumbidgee Council
    • Snowy Monaro Regional Council
    • Snowy Valleys Council
    • Wentworth Shire

    Note: The Silver City Highway between the Broken Hill and Wentworth Local Government Areas is part of the NSW-Victoria border bubble.

    South Australia

    • Berri Barmera Council
    • City of Mount Gambier
    • District Council of Grant
    • District Council of Loxton Waikerie
    • District Council of Robe
    • Kingston District Council
    • Naracoorte Lucindale Council
    • Renmark Paringa Council
    • Southern Mallee District Council
    • Tatiara District Council
    • Wattle Range Council

Reviewed 16 January 2024


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