Transition to Practice Program

Applications for Group 3 will open 20 April 2020

The Transition to Practice Program provides an evidence-based framework of support over 12 months to nurses who have transitioned to primary health care and feel they would benefit from additional support. 

The program will support a maximum of 150 nurses Australia wide, who have recently transitioned to primary health care. There will be four small groups and intakes, over a four year period (2018–2022). Information on previous programs and successful applicants can be found in the documents at the end of this page. 

All program information: Program Overview

Program flyer: Download the program flyer here. Feel free to download and share with friends and colleagues.

Please note: This program does not match or allocate nurses to a workplace. Nurses must already be working in a primary health care setting (or ensure they are by the time the program starts) to apply. If you don't currently have a job in primary health care, click here to check out the top tips we've prepared for when you're looking for a job in primary health care.

Before you apply, please review this important information

1. Program Overview
2. Who can apply?
4. Key dates 
5. Q&A

Program overview

All information can be found in this Program Overview document.

Program key dates

Group Application dates Program Duration Induction workshop
1 Closed February 2019 – January 2020 Completed
2 Closed September 2019 – August 2020 Completed
3 Monday 20 April 2020 – Friday 5 June 2020 July 2020 – June 2021 TBC
4 TBC May 2021 – April 2022


*Dates are indicative only. Please ensure you are available for all of the dates stated, regardless of location. Successful applicants will be advised of confirmed date at the time of notification.

What's involved?

The following components make up the program. Transitioning Nurses workplaces and Clinical and professional mentors are financially reimbursed for their participation in the program.

  1. Introductory workshop: This is a compulsory face-to-face, one-day program induction workshop for all nurses in the program. Workshop dates and locations are detailed in the Key dates section. APNA pays for all travel and expenses related to this workshop.
  2. Education: 
    • Click here to view the education provided in the program. APNA has over 150 education activities for nurses to access.
    • 30 of these have been developed specifically for nurses transitioning to primary health care, i.e. immunisation, ear irrigation and more.
    • These activities have been divided into groups of Core, Key, and Optional activities. 
    • Nurses are required to complete the 12 core education activities by program end.
      Although all activities can be completed according to learning needs, it is strongly encouraged that they're completed in order of 1. Core, 2. Key, and 3. Optional.
  3. Clinical and professional mentoring (see who can apply for more information): 
    1. This is provided by an experienced primary health care nurse (10 month period) who has been matched to the transitioning nurse by APNA.
    2. The clinical and professional mentors will focus on their transitioning nurses' skills development, career, and personal skills development and growth.
    3. The clinical and professional mentor is supported by APNA throughout the program.
    4. A minimum of 40 hours of clinical and professional mentoring is to be provided (directly or indirectly).
  4. Self-assessment tool: APNA has developed a self-assessment framework to assist nurses with prioritising and planning their education needs throughout the program.
  5. Quality improvement: All participants are required to provide regular feedback about the program to APNA. One such example is the submission of a quarterly report (template provided by APNA). 
  6. APNA Program support: All participants (including the workplaces) are supported by APNA throughout the program.

Reimbursement note: 

  • Workplaces are reimbursed for the protected time required (50 hours over 12 months) of the Transitioning Nurse in the program ($2,000 ex GST per nurse in the program).
  • Clinical and professional mentors are reimbursed for their time ($2,400 ex GST per transitioning nurse they mentor) 

Who can apply?

APNA is looking for applications from nurses all over Australia, from:

  1. Transitioning nurses and
  2. Experienced nurses working in primary health care who will mentor them.

All nurses need to ensure they have adequate professional indemnity insurance that will provide them with cover if they do any offsite visits, i.e. visiting mentor's/mentee's place of work for observation purposes. 

Transitioning nurse (Read the full requirements for transitioning nurses here):

Click here to view the requirements for the Transitioning Nurse's workplace (including the statement of support)

  • Must be a registered or enrolled nurse
  • Must be currently working (or will be by program start) in an accredited primary health care setting for a minimum of 14 hours per week
  • They may be an experienced nurse who has transitioned to primary health care and is looking for additional support or a graduate nurse who has just started in primary health care. There is no cut off date for having transitioned. If you feel you need assistance, you are able to apply.
  • Nurses do not need to have a nurse in their workplace to be their mentor. APNA will match them with a mentor. Due to the time requirements, it's preferred that their mentor does not work in the same workplace/location as them.
  • The transitioning nurse's workplace will be reimbursed $2,000 ex GST for the protected time required in the program (50 hours over 12 months)

Clinical and professional mentor (Read the full requirements for mentors here):

  • Must be a registered nurse (or a nurse practitioner) who has worked for four or more years in a primary health care environment
  • They will be a clinical and professional mentor to up to two transitioning nurses. Due to time commitments required, they ideally won't work in the same workplace as the transitioning nurse.
  • They will focus on transitioning nurses' skills development, career, and personal skills development and growth. 
  • APNA will support you in developing your knowledge, skills, and confidence as a clinical and professional mentor.
  • Clinical and professional mentors will receive $2,400 per transitioning nurse they mentor.

This is a fantastic supported opportunity to expand your scope of practice if this is a new experience for you.


Rebekah Cox: Program Manager

Rosie Oldham: Project Officer or 1300 303 184

The Transition to Practice Program has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health



  • The program is run over 12 months, with Mentor's being involved for 10 of those months.
  • The time required to participate will vary from person to person and fluctuate over time. Generally, time is heavily spent in the first 4 months (front-end-loaded) and often tapers off towards the end.
  • It is expected that both the Transitioning Nurse and Clinical and Professional Mentor participate in the program in their own time, outside of the funding provided. This is estimated to be about 3 hours per week - again this will vary for individuals and will fluctuate over the program. 
  • The program provides requires the below time commitments:
    • Workplace: 50 hours of protected time for the Transitioning Nurse to participate in the program (funded).
    • Clinical and Professional Mentor: 40 hours of contact time (direct or indirect) with the Transitioning Nurse (funded) + their own time (estimated around 3 hours a week)
    • Transitioning Nurse: Receive 50 hours of protected time from the workplace + their own time (estimated around 3 hours a week)
  • This program is not known as a graduate year but provides a significant amount of support and education for nurses who are new to primary health care nursing
  • This program provides access to over 30 CPD hours that nurses can use towards their CPD requirements for registration

No. It is not in the scope of the program to provide a job placement service for nurses or workplaces with nurses.

  • If you have recently commenced working in primary health care, and you consider yourself to be new to primary health care, you are eligible to apply
  • All transitioning nurses will be matched with clinical and professional mentors who have had four or more years of experience in primary health care nursing.

Enrolled nurses can participate as transitioning nurse but not a clinical and professional mentor. This is due to:

  • The broader professional scope of practice of registered nurses and  
  • The professional and clinical mentor may mentor more than one nurse and needs to have the appropriate skills to mentor both registered and enrolled nurses.

Education completed prior to the program may be recognised and go towards completion of certain aspects of the program, i.e. immunisation.

As a number of education activities have been developed specifically for this program, not all prior education will be able to be recognised for this program.

Yes. This program is designed to provide 10 months of intensive mentoring support. However, If the 40 hours are unable to be completed within the 10 months, the mentoring may continue past the official 10 month mark.

All applicants:

  • A recent copy of your CV
  • Your basic contact information
  • AHPRA registration number

Transitioning Nurses only:

  • Workplace contact details
  • A copy of your workplace’s Accreditation Certificate
  • A copy of your position description
  • The Statement of Support document
  • If you are an enrolled nurse, you will need your registered nurse supervisors best contact details

 This will depend on how long your answers are, but on average it could take between 30-45 minutes.

Yes. A copy of your application is emailed to you once it is completed.

No. This program is funded by the Australian Department of Health. Nurses are not required to pay for the program. The only cost required are the time commitments as described in the program overview. 

No. This program is open to all nurses regardless of APNA membership. We certainly always encourage membership as belonging to your professional association says much about your commitment and contribution to improving the health of all Australians.

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