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Great nursing scholarships for postgrads

James Davis

Careers Commentator
Nursing is a much-needed profession in Australia, which is why so many organisations offer aspiring nurses great funding opportunities.

To help offset some of the postgraduate study costs, we’ve come up with a list of excellent scholarships you can apply for in nursing, including but not limited to:

  • Aged care nursing
  • Community nursing
  • Critical care nursing
  • Family & child health nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Palliative care nursing

If you’re intimidated by the prospect of scholarship applications, fear not! We’ve written a free, comprehensive guide to postgraduate scholarships and getting selected that you can reference throughout this article. If you’d rather not go elsewhere for now, here are just a couple tidbits from it that’ll help you understand some of the common terminology in relation to scholarship applications:

  • There are three main types of scholarships.
    • Merit-based scholarships rely on some combination of grades, professional or extra-curricular achievements to succeed.
    • Need-based scholarships adopt their namesake in only being given to those of greatest need. This is commonly in the form of financial hardship, but can be in reference to coming from a disadvantaged background or having a disability.
    • Research-based scholarships are often discipline-specific endeavours that requires applicants to undergo research in a very particular area. For instance, it may require a student of midwifery to undergo research into unique birthing conditions in a rural area.
  • Written statements require a short blurb about yourself, with your achievements as supporting evidence rather than being centre stage.
  • CVs or resumes put your achievements first in fairly terse language.
  • Professional references are former bosses or professors.
  • Personal references are family members, friends or community leaders, the latter being preferable.
  • Academic transcripts are official or unofficial documents provided by your university. When an application asks for these if you haven’t yet finished undergrad, an unofficial transcript will normally do just fine.

Without further adieu, here are some great funding opportunities in nursing.

Robyn Parkes Postgraduate Nursing Grant - $1,000

This is for Australian citizens or permanent residents who live in rural areas and are enrolling in any postgraduate nursing course. The fact it doesn’t require any particular nursing specialisations makes it very flexible. It’s a merit-based scholarship, so expect to have your CV and GPA looked at throughout the application process.

To apply, simply submit a 500 word statement that describes the following:

  • Your personal nursing philosophy
  • Career goals
  • Thesis topic (where applicable)

Rotary Club of Whyalla Mental Health Grant - $8,000

This is merit-based scholarship for students enrolled in either a graduate certificate or diploma in mental health. Applicants must also be residents of Whyalla to be eligible. They submit a written statement detailing their commitment to mental health nursing and how the grant would benefit them. GPA is checked by the selection committee.

Roberta M.C. Taylor Rural and Remote Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship - $4,000

This is for commencing postgraduate students from the eponymous regions and specialisation who relocate to study at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Applicants must be citizens of Australia or New Zealand to be eligible.

Applicants must fill out this PDF and then submit it to USC’s Office of Research. The selection committee will strongly favour those who’ve undergone placement in a rural or remote area already.

Australian College of Nursing Government Scholarships - $1,000 - $30,000

This is a considerable collection of scholarships for varying demographics, including but not limited to the:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Health Scholarships
  • Emergency department scholarships
  • Clinical placements

There’s a convenient registration process that allows you to put applications in for all of these, which we highly recommend you do, particularly if you’re of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. This is because there are a significant number of postgraduate nursing scholarships for this demographic.

Catherine Wotton Ovarian Cancer Scholarship - $5,000

This merit-based scholarship is available to students of the following programs:

  • Graduate Certificate of Nursing Practice (Cancer and Palliative Care)
  • Master of Advanced Nursing Practice

Applicants must provide an academic transcript and a letter detailing their interest in gynaecological cancer studies and how this scholarship would help them. There isn’t any defined word count for this letter, so we’d recommend about 500 words to give you the breathing room to be descriptive while also not tiring out the selection committee.

The PostgradAustralia Scholarship - $2,750

Our scholarship is as well suited to nursing students as many others because of how easy it is to be eligible and apply. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Australian citizen or not, nor does it matter if you’re not happy about your GPA. We want you to demonstrate your passion for nursing through two mediums:

  • A 500 word written statement
  • A creative social media post. This can be anything, from a picture or video to zany poem!

We highly recommend applying, but not just because it’s ours. We genuinely believe it’s an accessible, inclusive opportunity to get top-up funding or as a way to offset some study costs.

Skellern Family Foundation Scholarship - $3,000 pa

This is for Australian citizens who are registered with the AHPRA and have not yet completed more than two research periods of their PhD in nursing or midwifery at the University of Sydney. It’s specifically for those who are studying part-time as an incentive to instead embark upon full-time study. It’s a research-based scholarship, but due to applicants needing to have started their PhD already, they’re in the unique position of arguing for why their PhD topic in progress is worthy of this funding as opposed to submitting a research proposal. Note that if you find this scholarship to be closed, it reopens annually.

Hopefully this have given you some additional insight into what’s required to secure a scholarship in nursing and associated specialisations. However, this is far from all that’s available to you. We’ve got a whole heap of general scholarships, some of which offer six figures to successful applicants. You can browse these here, which we recommend you do with our guide to postgraduate scholarships open. Good luck!