Grants, awards and scholarships

ACORN supports its members and perioperative nursing by offering financial support for professional development and acknowledging outstanding contributions to perioperative nursing and the perioperative profession.

Research grant

ACORN is committed to encouraging and supporting research into perioperative nursing practice. Through research, perioperative nurses can adopt best practice which is based on current evidence. Research takes time, commitment and funds so ACORN is offering an annual research grant of up to $20 000.

If you are a master’s or doctorate research student, a member of a research team or a beginning researcher you are eligible to apply for the ACORN Research grant.

Applications for the 2020 Research grant open on 1 September 2019 and close on 31 January 2020.

Click here to download the application form.

Financial assistance grants and scholarships

ACORN financial assistance is intended to support the learning of its members and  assist perioperative nurses to:

  • develop higher level skills related to the practice of perioperative nursing
  • carry out projects that will enhance perioperative nursing competence. 

The ACORN International volunteer and teaching grant also assists nurses to engage in charitable work, such as volunteering to work with aid groups.

ACORN offers four types of financial assistance to support member’s learning.

1. Bravura Laser Safety Officer (LSO) education scholarships

Bravura Education is offering scholarships for ACORN members to complete a laser safety officer (LSO) training course (surgical and operating suite).

The scholarships are offered twice a year. In each round, one ACORN member from each state will be awarded a scholarship to do Bravura Education's LSO training.

This laser safety course is suitable for those who work in an operating suite or other clinical environment that uses lasers. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the operation and hazards of lasers.

The course covers:

-      the operational characteristics of lasers

-      laser hazards

-      principles and procedures for safe laser use.

The course is delivered online and takes eight to ten hours to complete. You can study at your own pace, in your own time and take as long as you like to do it.

Assessment is a two-hour, online, open book exam.

The course meets the requirements for eight hours of continuing professional development (CPD) when applied according to relevant AHPRA guidelines. It is accredited by both ACORN and the Australian College of Nursing.

For more information visit Bravura Education.

Applications for the first round of this scholarship open on 1 March 2019 and close on 31 May 2019.

Applications for the second round of this scholarship open on 1 September 2019 and close on 30 November 2019.

Click here to download the application form.

2. Education grant

All members are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $2000 to attend education events. Often members from rural and remote areas apply for assistance to offset costs associated with travel.

Applications for this grant may be lodged at any time.

Applications will be assessed quarterly, from 15 February, 17 May, 16 August and 15 November. Applicants will be notified of the outcome at the end of March, June, September and December.

Click here to download the application form.

Click here to read a report from a successful applicant.

3. International volunteer and teaching grant

ACORN wishes to support its members and the broader perioperative community by offering financial support for members who are intending to do voluntary work or teach perioperative nursing skills overseas.

If you are an ACORN member who intends to travel overseas to undertake voluntary work or to teach you may be eligible to apply for the ACORN International Volunteer and Teaching grant to assist with travel costs. Every year ACORN offers two of these grants of $2500 each, one in the first half of the year and one in the second half of the year.

Applications for the first round of this grant open on 1 March 2019 and close on 31 May 2019.

Applications for the second round of this grant open on 1 September 2019 and close on 30 November 2019.

Successful applicants will be notified by 31 July 2019 and 31 January 2020.

Click here to download the application form.

International work supported by ACORN

An ACORN grant helped to fund a project to develop standards of practice and matching practice audit tools tailored for use by perioperative nurses in Pacific Island Countries.

Click here to see a poster that summarises the project.

4. ACORN Conference attendance scholarship

ACORN endeavours to support its members and their learning. ACORN is therefore offering scholarships to cover the cost of registration for the ACORN 2020 International Conference. 

Applications for this scholarship will open towards the end of 2019.

Watch this space for more information and to download an application form.

5. Heather May Herrick scholarship

This scholarship is offered in collaboration with the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners.

The scholarship is named in memory of Heather May Herrick who was diagnosed with four primary cancers, two of which caused significant pain.

Heather received outstanding care, including palliative care and pain management, from a Nurse Practitioner and this made a huge difference to Heather and her family.  After a long battle with pain, thanks to the Nurse Practitioner, Heather's last two months of life were comfortable.

In appreciation for the unique role of the Nurse Practitioner in Australia and the outstanding work that they do, Heather’s family has funded a scholarship program aimed at supporting more Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice Nurses to deliver services to people like Heather.

The program will award ten $1000 scholarships to assist with registration and travel costs to attend the ACNP National Conference. (Click here for details about the conference.)

Applications for the 2019 scholarship are now closed; however, the scholarship will be offered again in 2020.

Click here for more information and to download the scholarship application form.


Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is presented by the board to an individual who has demonstrated significant achievements and a commitment to the advancement of perioperative nursing. The nominee must have current full membership of their state or territory Local Association.

The award is given periodically at the discretion of the board and presented in the form of a certificate.


  • Candidates for the Award of Merit can be nominated by a Local Association or by the ACORN board.
  • Nominations should be sent as a letter outlining the nominee's achievements.
  • The ACORN board will determine whether the nominee will receive the award by vote.

Local Association Life Membership

ACORN will provide a certificate of recognition to a member who has been awarded life membership of their Local Association on written notification to ACORN by the Local Association.

Excellence in Perioperative Nursing Awards

Excellence in Perioperative Nursing (EiPN) awards are presented to ACORN members who have made an outstanding contribution to perioperative nursing. 

The awards are of high profile recognition with no monetary value. 

The awards are presented at the biennial national conference.

Nominations are made by a Local Association or by the ACORN board. 

For more information about these awards go to the EiPN awards under About us.

Judith Cornell Oration

The Judith Cornell Oration (JCO) is delivered by a person, chosen by the board, who has made an outstanding contribution to perioperative nursing in Australia. The JCO is delivered at the biennial national conference.

For more information about this award go to the Judith Cornell Oration page under About us.