Grants 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.

ACORN also offers Research grants for perioperative research.

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 and close on 31 May each year.

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

Click here for more information and to submit an application.

2020 Round 1 recipient

Maryam Hosseinzadeh

2019 Round 2 recipients

Cassandra Callaghan

Mohammad Mosavi

Vanessa Villalobos

2019 Round 1 recipient

Nicholas Bauermeister

2. Education grant

Click here to read a report from a successful applicant.

2019 recipients

Jane Thomas

Erin Wakefield

Lana Tutin

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.

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.

2019 recipients

Rosie Donald

Jonathan Hardwick

4. ACORN Conference attendance scholarship

In order to support its members and their learning, ACORN offered seven scholarships to cover the cost of registration for the ACORN 2020 conference.


Susan Costello

Beverley Egel

Karina Elms

Jessie Gladman

Tessa McClure

Rhiannon Robinson

Marita Soutar

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 2020 scholarship open on 1 February.

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

6. Phyllis Davis AM scholarship program

Phyllis Davis AM is the Director of Nursing at Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Phyllis is a registered nurse with postgraduate qualifications in Operating Room Nursing and a Master’s of Public Sector Management from the University of Technology Sydney.

For the last decade, Phyllis has worked with perioperative nurses in Papua New Guinea providing support and assistance to the Papua New Guinea Perioperative Nurses Society. In 2018, Phyllis received the Order of Australia in the General Division (AM) for services to nursing, nursing education, nursing leadership and nursing international relations.

Phyllis is also an ACORN Fellow and was awarded the Excellence in Perioperative Nursing (Individual) Award in May 2018.

In appreciation of the significance of education, the importance of perioperative nurses' engagement with their professional associations and her role as a perioperative leader, Phyllis has funded this scholarship program.

The program aims to support members to attend the ACORN 2020 International Conference and consists of two scholarships of $890 each – the cost of early bird registration for the conference. The first scholarship was open to members of the New South Wales Operating Theatre Association (NSW OTA). The second scholarship is open to all ACORN members.


Nathan Davidson

Christina Kumar