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How to apply

If you would like to apply to Metro South Health to complete your graduate year, head to the Queensland Health Graduate Portal and apply now. The graduate portal opens on 27th July 2020.

Apply Now

Otherwise, if you need further information, see the details below:

Eligibility criteria

To apply for a Queensland Health 2021 graduate program, you must:

have completed your first university undergraduate nursing or midwifery course within the past TWO years – that is, between November 2018 and July 2020 – or be due to complete your course by March 2021.
be eligible to apply for Nursing or Midwifery registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
meet the requirements of documentation and identity checks required by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
not have worked as a registered nurse or midwife for more than six months full time equivalent.

Key dates

27th July 2020 – Graduate Portal opens

21st August 2020 – Graduate Portal closes

Application tips

If you apply to MSH, you will be asked to provide documentation in addition to the Graduate Portal. Start to prepare that documentation now.

Frequently asked questions


How many graduates are you taking and how many people do you keep on the waitlist generally?

The number of graduates taken each year depends on organisational need/workforce requirements. Metro South runs a twelve-month campaign and all applications remain current for this period. 

Are there any nurse to midwifery scholarships? 

Metro South does not offer any scholarships. You are best to direct your enquiry to OCNMO or QNMU if you are a member. 

What is OCNMO?

The Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO) is the Queensland Government's principal advisor on all matters relating to nursing and midwifery services with a particular authority and expertise in advancing, leading and advising on matters that promote a healthier Queensland. OCNMO run the graduate portal you will need to apply through

Is there any weight given to previous EEN/AIN/aged care experience?

Each application is reviewed on its own merits. You will have prior organisational knowledge which may assist you with your short responses and interview questions. Please remember during your interview to answer the questions within a registered nurse scope of practice. 

If I am graduating mid-year next year, can I apply for a graduate program now? 

It is not recommended that you apply because the majority of Metro South grad programs start at the beginning of the year and you will not have graduated. It will also put you at a significant disadvantage as you will be 6-12 months behind your peers who have consolidated their undergraduate degree. 

I have a nose piercing with a stud, is it ok and acceptable in dress code?

The wearing of jewellery should be considered under safe practice. It must not pose an infection or physical hazard to the patient, self or another person.  Body piercing should be discrete as per uniform procedure.

What if I start a grad program and it’s not what I expected can I switch?

The graduate campaign is exceptionally competitive. Metro South recommends that you research your preference areas well and reflect on previous student placement experiences to ascertain if these are environments that you would like to consolidate. 

Do you recommend applying for everything possible?

Yes, to give yourself the best possible chance to get a job we suggest applying for both public and private facilities that meet your needs. 

Do you offer any graduate programs that start mid-year?

Metro South runs a twelve-month campaign and all applications remain current for this period. Mid-year campaigns will be driven by workforce need.

Do you consider mature students for this program?

The graduate program is open to anyone who graduates from a Bachelor of Nursing or Midwifery as per portal requirements. Metro South is proud to have graduates represented in all age groups. 

More than 6 months of employment as an RN makes you ineligible to apply. Is that 6 months prior to the initial graduate program application cut-off date on the 21st of August?   

Yes, that is correct. Please refer to eligibility criteria in the Prospectus from OCNMO -  

Do we have to declare that we have speeding fines as part of the criminal history check?

As per the AHPRA website “If an infringement carries a possible sentence of 12 months imprisonment or more, you need to tell us about it. This will depend on which state or territory you’re in. If you’re sure that the infringement doesn’t carry that level of possible sentence, you don’t need to declare it. If you’re unsure (and haven’t told us about it before), it’s better to declare it and make sure you provide us with the details.”

More information can be found on their website -

Are you guaranteed a permanent position after you complete your graduate program? 

No. All grad programs are temporary contracts. This ensures a good fit to both the team and the graduate. Metro South graduates will be asked to reapply for their positions at the completion of their grad year. 

Are the interviewing processes of each HHS the same? 

The interview process varies depending on HHS. In Metro South we use a variety of interviewing processes including panel interviews, simulations, group fit (short listing only) etc. Dependant on social distancing requirements, interviews may be done by alternate mediums. 

Do you have any useful tips when preparing for interviews? 

Metro South will provide interview tips in the Graduate Applicant Resource that will be sent to you as part of the recruitment process.

Application process: Preferencing

What if we want to apply for a specific ward in a specific area that is not a common ward, if this is passed over by the first hospital will this mean that the first clinical area is passed over, so we technically only have two preferences? Should we just be general in our preferences? 

Metro South will provide a list of all clinical areas taking graduates in 2021 as part of their campaign. Your preferencing provides an indication of your areas of clinical interest and Metro South graduate coordinators work hard to ensure the progression of your application through the identified areas. Your first preferenced area will always review your application. 

Do you consider second or third preferences at all, or only first preferences?

Historically, Metro South has not needed to consider second preferences as grad positions have been filled by applicants who preference Metro South first. This may change as the current pool of first preference applicants has been exhausted but this depends on the amount of positions available for 2021.

Is there a benefit to putting Metro South as both preference 1 and 2 in the graduate application? I would be open to working in Metro North and whilst Metro South is definitely my preference, I don't want to rule myself out of a potential position if I can help it. 

Graduate campaigns are competitive. We recommend you maximise the exposure of your application. There is no benefit to preferencing Metro South twice. Please consider alternate HHSs as a second and third preference.

Since the list for available grad positions that we preference for is sent out after the portal closes does that make our preferences we send in for our initial application void? 

After preferencing Metro South Health first, you will be sent out information about how to proceed with your application. You will be asked to preference three clinical areas and these will inform your interview process. Your application on the portal is best to be generic for example: first preference ED, second preference medical, third preference surgical. 

With the preferences on the grad summary, are all the 3 clinical areas all looked at by the first hospital in the health system and if they pass over to the second hospital in the same health system and then onto the third hospital within the same HHS? Or is it the first clinical area applies to the first hospital in the HHS and then the second clinical area applies to the second HHS?

The graduate portal does not have the full functionality to capture all graduate positions on offer throughout Metro South. For this reason, Metro South will provide you with a list of clinical areas at each facility taking graduates in 2021. This secondary step will require you to choose one facility within Metro South and three clinical areas within that facility.  

Can you comment on the advice to put a regional/rural HHS as second choice please?

Historically, rural areas look at second or third preferences. Commencing your career in a rural facility will provide excellent exposure and increase your clinical capabilities.

Application process: Other

Do you consider the GPA score for the student as an eligibility criteria? 

Metro South values safe nurses and midwifes who are receptive of feedback and are committed professionals. GPAs may be considered in some areas, only as proof of commitment to future studies. All graduates undertaking a graduate program in critical care areas across Metro South will be required to complete further education in the form of a transition program. 

Do you take applications from interstate applicants? Are they at a disadvantage?

Yes, interstate applications are accepted. HHSs are required to apply employment priority rankings for nurse and midwife graduates. These rankings can be found in the Nursing and Midwifery Prospectus on the OCNMO website. -

I am an out of area applicant from Cairns. Will I be viewed less favourably compared to Brisbane applicants due to this?

Metro South has a strong history of appointing the best graduate for the position, with many applicants never completing a student placement within the facility. Applicants graduating from Queensland universities who are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens will be considered first as per the OCNMO Prospectus. More information about this can be found on their website -  

Application process: For International students

Can international students apply for this program, if they have a valid visa for working as a nurse such as graduate visa?

Yes, international applications are accepted. HHSs are required to apply employment priority rankings for nurse and midwife graduates. These rankings can be found in the Nursing and Midwifery Prospectus on the OCNMO website. - Metro South strongly recommends that you apply to the portal as your visa status may change upon graduating and we will only appoint applicants who have a current application with the portal. 

How can international students increase their chances for graduate program?

International students have greater success obtaining positions in rural and remote services as these HHSs are more likely to see decreased numbers of applicants and they support sponsorship of visa requirements. Metro South strongly recommends that you apply to the portal as your visa status may change upon graduating and we will only appoint applicants who have a current application with the portal. 

Application process: For dual degrees

In regards for dual degree applicants applying for Metro South, do we combine our nursing and midwifery preferences onto the one graduate summary? 

You only have one application on the portal with the ability to select that you are dual degree. At the point you preference Metro South first and the portal closes we will identify that you are a dual degree applicant for both nursing and midwifery and forward you the links for the two campaigns. This means that you can submit a nursing specific application to the nursing link and a midwifery specific application to the midwifery link. 

I was wondering whether the clinical areas that we apply for will affect our interview opportunities? For example, if I put down midwifery, paediatrics and medical nursing as my clinical preferences, and put down Logan Hospital as my first preference and other two hospitals that only offer nursing positions, would I still be considered and offered an interview for nursing? 

When you are identified as a dual degree on the portal you will be sent the links for both the nursing and midwifery campaigns. You will be able to independently preference both nursing and midwifery positions.  This means that you can select a facility to consolidate your nursing in and a different facility to consolidate your midwifery in.

Application process: Referee Reports

Do both of your referee reports need to be a clinical reference?

Metro South prefers referees be either a clinical supervisor from the final year of study (this person cannot be a university employee unless they were also directly involved in your clinical supervision - eg. clinical facilitator or preceptor) or a previous manager who has had direct supervision of your role, preferably within the last two years. 

May I ask which referee is better, facilitator or buddy RN in placement?

It is always beneficial to have a referee that has knowledge of your clinical skills and abilities. 

Would you accept a referee report in last year's format?

Metro South will accept all referee report templates. The referee must sign the report and provide their contact details. Metro South also acknowledge that the provision of referee reports may be a system out of your control. Therefore - if unable to supply a referee report with your application, please submit contact details of the nominated referee so they can be contacted as appropriate. Metro South ask that referee reports are filled in within the last 12 months. 

I have worked for a family business for a long time. Would a reference from a family member or someone we know from a sporting club be considered a conflict of interest? 

All referee reports are reviewed for their integrity and confirmation will be sought from hiring line managers via email or phone call. It is imperative that the referee answers honestly, attesting to both your role and performance, and their relationship with you. 

What time of the year referees will be contacted? 

Referee reports for Metro South will be requested from September through to December. In the event that your referee will be on leave or uncontactable we recommend you ask them to complete a referee report on any template prior to this occurring. 

Do we need to send our referee reports with our application or will be asked for them if we are invited for an interview?

Referee reports are submitted via the SurveyMonkey link that you will be provided after the portal closes. Metro South asks that all of the requested documents are submitted in one PDF. Details of the documents required will be found in the Graduate Applicant Resource that will be sent to you as part of the recruitment process.

Application process: Resume/Cover letter

Who should we address our cover letters to? 

The ensure your cover letter is applicable to all areas you will be applying to, it is recommended that you address it generically, for example “Medical/Surgical Team” or “Hiring Line Manager”.

What would you like to see us write in the “list your knowledge, skills and abilities” section of the graduate summary? Would you like us to refer to examples that showcase abilities during our placement or work? 

The graduate application process is highly competitive. We encourage all applicants to take every opportunity to personalise their application and showcase qualities that would be desirable for the clinical area and convey an understanding of your own nursing and midwifery philosophy. 

How do we answer the questions about why we chose to preference each hospital?

The Metro South website provides you the vast variety of information on each facility in Metro South. We encourage you to explore the different hospital initiatives at each site and contextualize this providing specific examples of what this means to you in your written response. You do not need to write why you chose each facility, we recommend you write to your first preference.  

How long should my resume be? How much detail are you expecting on clinical placements?

A professional resume should be no longer than three pages. It is recommended that you do not list skills, rather a reflective overview of your experience on placement providing insight to how the placement has developed you as a professional. 

Do we need to write a separate 'short response' other than answering the 2 questions in the graduate summary? 

Yes. Once you preference Metro South first you will be sent out information about the clinical areas available. From there you will preference three areas. Most clinical areas request a response to a short answer question to assist with shortlisting process. You will only have to complete a short answer question for your first preferenced area. 

For our graduate nurse applications, do we make our cover letter and CVs generic for the different hospitals or tailored to our chosen area?

Please keep your portal application generic, keeping in mind that this may be reviewed by your second and third preference. Metro South will provide you an opportunity to address specific units further into the campaign. 

Would you like the academic transcript attached and submitted via the portal or sent directly to you from a service such as My eQuals?

Your university transcript is to be submitted via the SurveyMonkey link that you receive after the portal closes, if you have preferenced Metro South first. Please pay particular attention to the way Metro South requests documents to be sent. An applicant’s ability to follow recruitment instructions is indicative of performance on the clinical floor when given instructions by a team leader. 

Program specifics

Which unit areas are the most competitive ones that most graduates choose?

Each year we see different trends of preferencing. Critical care areas (ICU, ED and peri-operative) and paediatrics are historically highly preferenced and competitive. 

Which hospitals offer ICU/ED/pool/paediatric graduate programs this year?

Metro South will provide a list of all clinical areas taking graduates in 2021 as part of their campaign. This will allow you to make an informed decision in the latter stage of the recruitment process. 

If a hospital offers more than one graduate program in a clinical area, do we preference only the clinical area or do we put the specific program we would like? For example, PAH offers several medical graduate programs. If we are interested in these do we simply put 'medical' as our preferred clinical area or should we specify 'cardiology ward'?

On the graduate portal please preference generically. Metro South will provide a list of all clinical areas taking graduates in 2021 as part of their campaign. This will allow you to make an informed decision in the latter stage of the recruitment process.   

Do permanent nurse pool (PNP) graduates receive as much support in comparison to other rotational and non- rotational programs?

Graduates on the pool receive the same support as grads in rotational/non-rotational programs. The pool has dedicated clinical facilitators who manage and support transition to practice in this area. 

Last updated 17 August 2020
Last reviewed 7 August 2020