RPL Guide – Bachelor of Nursing (3005105)

Prior learning recognised

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can occur for all units within this course for:

  • Formal learning — learning gained through study in a structured, accredited Australian program that leads to full or partial achievement of a qualification; and/or

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can occur for some units (Note 2 units only) within this course for:

  • Non-formal learning — learning gained through study in a structured, non-accredited Australian program (such as a short course, seminar, or professional development) that does NOT lead to a qualification, and/or
  • Informal learning — learning gained through years of paid or voluntary Australian experience, professional standing or performance.

Recognition of Prior Learning can NOT occur for prior learning gained overseas.

Credit thresholds

If you are registered as an Enrolled Nurse (EN) without any restriction on practice, through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and hold one of the following national Health Training Package diploma of nursing qualifications, which is accredited by the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC):

  • HLT54121 - Diploma of Nursing
  • HLT54115 - Diploma of Nursing
  • HLT51612 - Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled-Division 2 nursing)

Please view the Bachelor of Nursing - Enrolled Nurse to Registered Nurse pathway and the Credit Search and Calculator.

Coursework units with Note 2

The following credit may apply to coursework units with Note 2 for related prior formal, non-formal or informal learning completed within ten years before the application for course Admission or Advanced Standing (whichever occurs first).

  • Up to 9 units (108 Credit Points) are normally awarded for completion of a related Australian Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree (or equivalent);
  • Up to 4 units (48 Credit Points) are normally awarded for completion of a related Australian Certificate IV, or equivalent.
Note 2 – Units common to other Southern Cross University courses

Coursework units

  • HLTH1004 - The Reflective Learner and Health Science Scholar
  • HLTH1005 - Understanding Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • HLTH1009 - Introductory Anatomy and Physiology
  • HLTH1006 - Foundations of Interprofessional Health Practice
  • INDG2001 - Health and Indigenous Australian Peoples
  • PHAR2001 - Introductory Pharmacology
  • PBHL1003 - Foundations of Health and Health Care Systems
  • HLTH3004 - Transition to Practice
  • HLTH3005 - Interprofessional Health Practice

For more information about comparable, non-accredited study and the years of experience that may substitute for holding an Australian qualification, view Appendix A of Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy - Schedule 1.

A link to Schedule 1 is found in Clause 13 of the Advanced Standing and Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures.

Coursework units with Note 3

To meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) professional standards and recency of practice requirements, credit may only be granted to the above coursework and placement units with Note 3, for related prior formal learning in an Australian Bachelor Degree, or higher, completed within five years before the application for course Admission or Advanced Standing (whichever occurs first).

Prior learning must be at least 80% equivalent to the learning and assessment outcomes and content of coursework units with Note 3, for which credit is sought and fulfil 100% of the hours required for placement units with Note 3, for which credit is sought.

Note 3 – Units necessary to meet NMBA professional standards

Coursework units

  • HLTH1007 - Foundations of Clinical Practice
  • NURS1005 - Fundamentals of Nursing Practice
  • NURS2015 - Partnering with Older People in Healthcare
  • NURS2016 - Introduction to Nursing Research
  • NURS2017 - Nursing Practices 1
  • NURS3006 - Evidenced Based Practice in Nursing
  • NURS3001 - The Nurse as a Leader
  • NURS3008 - Paediatric Health: Conception to Adolescence

Placement units

  • NURS2004 - Foundations of Health Assessment
  • NURS2014 - Positive Approaches to Chronic Health and Disability
  • NURS2018 - Building Healthy Communities Through Impactful Partnerships
  • NURS2005 - Mental Health Nursing
  • NURS3007 - Nursing Practices 2
  • NURS3009 - Nursing Practices 3 (double-weighted unit)


If your prior learning occurred more than ten years ago for units with Note 2 or five years ago for units with Note 3, you must provide supporting documents to demonstrate the ways you have generated and maintained currency of practice due to more recent and ongoing learning in a relevant field, such as professional memberships with peak bodies, on-the-job training, professional development or research.

Related fields of prior learning

Apply for RPL if your prior learning relates to:

Nursing care and practices Pharmacology Anatomy and physiology
Health narratives and lifespan Health assessment Health breakdown and response
Chronic illness and care Assessment, clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills Mental health nursing
Interventions for health maintenance and restorative health Evidence-based practice and ethical research Acute care nursing
Advanced assessment, planning and interventions for complex and challenging care situations Leadership and management in nursing practice Quality, evidence-based nursing interventions and person-centred care


It is important to apply as early as possible. If you apply for direct admission with Southern Cross University using our online Application for Admission, in the Advanced Standing section, indicate that you wish to be considered by selecting yes from the drop-down box.

If you wish to be considered for credit after course commencement, use your Student ID to log into the My Enrolment portal. Select eForms from the menu bar to complete and submit your application for advanced standing at least:

  • Four months before the commencement of a placement unit, or
  • One month before the commencement of a coursework unit.

Credit granted will affect the units you choose in your study plan. Don’t enrol in a unit for which credit is sought. For more information view How to apply.

Your portfolio of evidence for experience (applicable to units with Note 2 only)

If you apply based on informal learning (work experience) you need to to describe and provide evidence of how your knowledge, skills and experience meet unit learning and assessment outcomes and the NMBA guidelines for recency of practice and professional codes and guidelines. The Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Guidelines which will help you do this.

Read the Guidelines before you apply. To verify the accuracy of your statements in the Portfolio of Evidence for Experience - Form you must include the signature of at least one current or former Supervisor/Trainer, for each unit for which credit is sought.

The supporting documents you submit must include:

  • A current resume or curriculum vitae detailing past and current experiences (including dates and hours of service) for the positions or roles you have held
  • Other primary and secondary evidence, including personal, workplace and third-party information from the list of supporting documents for verifying professional experience and expertise
  • A transcript of the results of study and unit outlines, including learning and assessment outcomes (if applicable).

After you’ve applied

The outcome will be emailed to you within 20 working days of receiving your application unless further clarification or supporting documents are required, in which case we will contact you.

If you haven’t enrolled in units via My Enrolment, do so now using the recommended course progression found on the Course Structure page. For personal assistance with your study plan, don't hesitate to contact us .

Accepting credit granted for international students

If you’re an international student studying in Australia on a student visa you must sign, date and return the Credit Acceptance Declaration within 14 working days. This allows SCU International Student Support to adjust your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) to show your new study duration (if applicable).

Your right to an appeal

If you disagree with the outcome, you may appeal within ten working days of the credit decision. The appeal will be commenced within ten working days and should take no longer than ten working days for an outcome to be reached. Within this time, you may be invited to participate in an interview and/or offered an alternative means of establishing the level of your existing skills and knowledge, such as a challenge test or special project.

You will receive notification about the outcome of the appeal as soon as possible. If the decision-maker is the Course Coordinator, any appeal is to the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) and their decision is final. If the decision-maker is the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality), any appeal is to the Chair of Academic Board and their decision is final. Any student unsatisfied with the outcome may appeal externally to the relevant Ombudsmen Office.

Exit award thresholds

Unless your prior learning occurred at SCU, if you exit with the Associate Degree of Health and Human Sciences or Diploma of Health and Human Sciences, any credit greater than 8 units (96 Credit Points) or 4 units (48 Credit Points) respectively, will be rescinded (withdrawn).

For more information view Getting started at SCU. If you still have questions contact us.

Contact the Faculty of Health

Executive Assistant to the Executive Dean

Donna Simon
T: +61 7 5589 3224
E: [email protected]

Associate Dean Education

Professor Fiona Naumann
T: +61 7 5589 3470
E: [email protected]

Associate Dean Research

Professor Marianne Wallis
T: +61 427 633 708
E: [email protected]

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