Key messages

  • A registration in nursing and/or midwifery is a valuable resource that is worth keeping.
  • Getting back on the nursing and midwifery register is not an automatic entitlement.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) can advise you about how to regain your nursing and/or midwifery registration.
  • The NMBA has a list of approved programs of study and course providers which you may use to assist you to regain your nursing or midwifery registration.
  • If you still have your registration but have had a break from nursing or midwifery, consider enrolling in a refresher program.

Returning to practice

Clinical care, knowledge and skills are changing rapidly along with nursing and midwifery standards of practice and you need much more than the ‘basics of care’ to be able to work safely and effectively. So when you’re exploring a return to nursing or midwifery practice, remember that getting back on the register is not an automatic entitlement.

To find out more about returning to nursing or midwifery practice (or if you are thinking of having a break from nursing or midwifery), please read our Getting back into nursing or midwifery factsheet first.

Nurses and midwives with current registration

You can check the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website to see if you are still registered as a nurse and/or midwife – search the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency – Registers of Practitioners.

If you are currently a registered nurse or midwife but have had a break from nursing practice, consider a refresher program to update your knowledge and clinical skills. Some Victorian public health services offer nursing or midwifery refresher programs, allowing you to build your confidence and skills within a short period of time.

To find out about nursing or midwifery refresher programs, speak with your prospective employer and read our factsheet.

Refresher programs in Victoria – Information for health services

Health services need smart strategies to have an available nursing and midwifery workforce able to provide safe, quality patient care, and to be equipped to address current and future workforce challenges. Refresher programs are one strategy to increase workforce availability and enable latent nursing and midwifery workforces to be activated within a short period of time. 

Refresher programs enable registered nurses, enrolled nurses and registered midwives to re-enter the workforce after a period of time not practicing. Refresher programs provide structured education and clinical exposure to update the participant’s knowledge and skills and re-establish and enhance their confidence to practice.

The department has developed a ‘frequently asked questions’ resource for health services, to support health services to design, socialise, implement and evaluate an effective refresher program and potentially grow workforces in a short period of time with minimal investment and resourcing. It has been developed with the assistance of Austin Health and Eastern Health. The resource is a guide only, providing generalised support - local adaptation is therefore essential. The resource is available in the ‘downloads’ section at the bottom of the page.

Nurses and midwives with lapsed registration

If you are a former registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife, contact the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to find out how to regain your registration or endorsement.

The NMBA may advise you to complete a re-entry course. The NMBA's website has a list of approved programs of study which can assist in gaining registration, endorsement and notation of applicants for registration as an enrolled nurse (EN), registered nurse (RN) and registered midwife (RM). 

Contact course providers directly to find out if and when places are available.

Contact details