Return to Register (RTR) | Australian College of Nursing

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Return to Register (RTR)

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Course overview

If you have not practiced within the profession for a period of more than 5 years, but not exceeding 10 years then the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) may refer you to complete a return to the register course.

Our course is designed for Australian registered and enrolled nurses who wish to return to the nursing workforce.
The curriculum has been approved and accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).

The course will be delivered by our educators who have years of clinical experience and are all active within their specialties. They are supported by our external educators who are all highly skilled practitioners, working clinically to provide expert care. You will learn about  contemporary nursing practice in Australia and will be able to build on your previous knowledge, skills and experience to demonstrate evidence of safe practice at entry to practice level according to the relevant Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia standards for practice (NMBA 2016).

Duration and mode of delivery

This is an 11 week course.

Our course consists of a 5 week theoretical component and a 6 week clinical placement component. This takes place at our Parramatta campus (close to public transport) and consists of classroom sessions, clinical skills practice and assessment, self-directed learning and on-line activities & assessments. Active participation is encouraged  including   group work and peer presentations. During the clinical placement students work under the supervision of an RN.

For Cohorts 159 – 162 the 5 weeks of theory are followed by 6 weeks of clinical placements
For Cohorts 163 – 167 there will be 4 initial weeks of theory followed by a 3 week placement block, then returning to class for a consolidation week followed by a final 3 week placement.

Course content

We deliver a comprehensive, contemporary and clinically relevant course.
The course will cover: 

  • the Australian healthcare system
  • ethics in nursing
  • professional practice in Australia
  • nursing and the law
  • patient safety and risk management
  • medication management 
  • critical thinking, inquiry and research
  • contemporary indigenous health 
  • effective communication for health care professionals
  • reflective practice
  • clinical practice in acute care
  • healthcare across the lifespan from child and community through to aged care.


Assessments during the campus component will comprise written, on-line and simulated clinical practice. All campus assessments must be passed in order to progress to clinical placement.

Assessments in the clinical placement component is under taken by ACN assessors or dedicated facility personnel. Participants are assessed against the relevant NMBA standards for practice for the registered or enrolled nurse.  There are 2 formal assessments on placement in week 3 and week 6.

How to apply

Participants must be referred to this course by the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA)

Pre-enrolment information from AHPRA is available here

Documents must be original or a certified copy.

Participant must meet all admission requirements and provide documented evidence of the following at the time of enrolment.

  • The original or a certified copy of the AHPRA referral letter. Ensure that the period of the referral letter covers the 11 weeks of the course plus an additional 4-6 weeks for completion of documentation and recommendation to AHPRA for registration.
  • A certified copy of passport or photo ID
  • A valid Australian federal police (AFP) criminal record check (CRC) or a CRC from a recognised accredited broker

Visit the AFP website
Visit the national crime check website

Record of immunisation.

Evidence of immunisations must in line with NSW Health requirements.
All documented evidence of immunisations and serology must be provided with the application:

  • Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus
  • Varicella
  • Mumps, measles and rubella
  • Hepatitis B
  • TB

You must also provide these documents with the application. These can be obtained from the link NSW health requirements.

  • Form 2. – Tuberculosis (TB) assessment tool
  • Form 3. – Student Undertaking/Declaration

Career opportunities/ Articulations

On successful completion of this course graduates will be eligible to apply to NMBA for reregistration as a registered/enrolled nurse


On-Campus Block 1

Clinical Placement Block 1

On-Campus Consolidation

Clinical Placement Block 2



15/01/2018 - 16/02/2018

19/02/2018 - 30/03/2018



Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


26/02/2018 - 30/03/2018

02/04/2018 - 11/05/2018



Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


02/04/2018 - 04/05/2018

07/05/2018 - 15/06/2018



Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


14/05/2018 - 15/06/2018

18/06/2018 - 27/07/2018



Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


11/06/2018 - 06/07/2018

09/07/2018 - 27/07/2018

30/07/2018 - 03/08/2018

06/08/2018 - 24/08/2018

Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


02/07/2018 - 27/07/2018

30/07/2018 - 17/08/2018

20/08/2018 - 24/08/2018

27/08/2018 - 14/09/2018

Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


30/07/2018 - 24/08/2018

27/08/2018 - 14/09/2018

17/09/2018 - 21/09/2018

24/09/2018 - 12/10/2018

Full, applicant will be put on a waiting list


27/08/2018 - 21/09/2018

24/09/2018 - 12/10/2018

15/10/2018 - 19/10/2018

22/10/2018 - 9/11/2018



24/09/2018 - 19/10/2018

22/10/2018 - 09/11/2018

12/11/2018 - 16/11/2018

19/11/2018 - 07/12/2018


Applications close 2 weeks before the course commencement date

Fees schedule

  • $250.00 non-refundable application fee (will be deducted from final payment)
  • $1000.00 non-refundable acceptance fee (payable when placement is accepted)
  • $10,550.00 final payment due 3 week’s prior to program commencement

Total cost $11,800.00

Re-entry to Nursing Scholarships

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.

Information about scholarships is available here

Clinical placements

ACN negotiates with health care facilities to secure clinical placements. We organise clinical placements in the public, private and aged care health sectors. We make every effort to secure clinical placements are within the time frames indicated for the course, however all applicants are advised that progression to clinical placement is dependent on the availability of placements within the health facility at the time. Clinical placements will involve travelling time and applicants are advised that the majority of morning shifts will commence at 07.00, therefore this will need to be taken into consideration.

Applicants are not to arrange their own clinical placements with a clinical facility. Any arrangements made between applicants and clinical facilities will not be honoured by ACN.

ACN reserves the right to change clinical placements.

Shifts will vary from morning, afternoon and night duty

ACN does not organise participant accommodation