Return to nursing and midwifery

Returning to nursing or midwifery may be a daunting prospect for some. However, WA Health has streamlined the process by centrally coordinating and managing refresher pathway options for nurses and midwives.

You can get back into the nursing and midwifery workforce if you are still registered, but have not worked for a while, by undertaking a refresher pathway placement.

WA Health’s Refresher Pathways are now linked to employment and applicants will have the flexibility to choose full-time or part-time options.

If you are no longer registered, you will need to complete a re-entry to practice program.

Refresher pathway placement

What is a refresher pathway?

WA Health offers refresher pathways to enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives who wish to refresh their skills in the acute clinical setting.

ENs and RNs will complete the Theoretical Component by completing the Australian College of Nursing Refresher Course.

Midwives will complete the Theoretical Component by completing the Australian College of Midwifery Refresher Course.

The pathways are linked to employment and allow more flexible options for refresher nurses or midwives to undertake:

  • online learning modules
  • supervised clinical practice
  • work full-time or part-time; fixed term as part of this refresher initiative.

Why do a refresher pathway?

The pathways provide an opportunity to refresh your skills in a supportive environment, allowing you a smooth transition into the acute care setting with confidence and competence.

Refresher pathways are ideal for WA nurses or midwives who:

  • wish to return to an acute clinical setting
  • have not worked within the last 5 years

Who is eligible?

To undertake a WA Health RN, EN or midwifery refresher pathway placement, applicants must:

  • hold general registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia with no conditions or restrictions
  • meet the Recency of Practice Registration Standard of three (3) months practice in the last five year.
  • be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency status at the time of application

Suitability for entry into all nursing or midwifery refresher programs will be assessed on individual merit by the WA Health services, in conjunction with the Program Coordinator.


These courses are fully funded through the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office.

What is the process?

Applications can only be submitted through the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office, online.

You must also provide the following supporting documentation:

  • a covering letter, briefly stating personal aims and goals for undertaking the program and where you would like to work
  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV) / resume, detailing past and current nursing or midwifery experience; including areas worked, clinical caseload and dates
  • evidence of Australian citizenship or permanent residency status (e.g. copy of passport, birth certificate, citizenship documents or visa)
  • evidence of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia.

Attachments can only be uploaded in PDF, JPEG or Word formats and must be no larger than 2Mb each in size.

How to apply

Apply now

This scholarship is open for applications all year.

I need to get registered again as a nurse or midwife

Re-entry to nursing and midwifery programs (formally known as re-registration programs) are for those whose registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has lapsed.

Nurses and midwives who wish to regain their registration can only undertake re-entry programs that have been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Please refer to the 're-entry' section on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (external site) to view the list of approved programs.

WA Health offers financial assistance to nurses and midwives undertaking renewal of registration courses.

Re-entry to nursing practice and bridging programs

What are these programs?

Re-entry to practice programs

Re-entry to practice programs are for previously Australian trained or qualified (re-entrant) nurses and midwives who are currently not registered, and wish to gain restoration of their registered with the Nurses and Midwives Board of Australia (NMBA).

Bridging programs

Registration Bridging Programs are for overseas trained or qualified nurses and midwives who are seeking to gain initial registration with the NMBA.

Does WA Health offer these programs?

Effective as at January 2011, WA Health no longer offers re-entry to practice or bridging programs for enrolled nurses, registered nurses or midwives.

Why not?

Under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, all courses that lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia must be provided by a Recognised Training Organisations (RTOs). The Department of Health is not a RTO and does not qualify under the National Accreditation Criteria.

Where can I do these programs?

Similar courses, also known as conversion programs, are offered by external providers. To locate accredited courses, refer to the NMBA website (external site) for list of programs for RN and EN.

Scholarship opportunities

The Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office (CNMO) offers scholarships for nurses and midwives undertaking courses that lead to restoration of registration with the NMBA and are delivered by a recognised and accredited Western Australian education institution.

Scholarships are available for Australian Citizens or permanent residents only. Conditions will apply.

For more information, please visit the CNMO website for scholarship information.

Last reviewed: 10-08-2021
Produced by

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office