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Aged Care Registered Nurse’s Loyalty Bonus: An Explainer for Aged Care Providers


The Department of Health is now offering to pay Registered Nurses (RNs) a bonus if they stay with the same aged care employer for the next 12 months. There is also an additional bonus for RNs who meet special criteria. Here’s how the payments work.


Who is eligible for the payment?

Standard bonus payment

The standard bonus payment is available to RNs who spend the next 12 months (1 November 2021 – 31 October 2022) working for the same residential aged care or home care provider. A second standard payment will be available for RNs who spend 2022-2023 working for the same provider.

The payment is available for full time, part time and casual RNs, including those who work in non-direct clinical roles, e.g., management.


Additional bonus payment

To receive the additional payment, an RN must meet the criteria for the standard payment and meet one of these criteria:

  • have worked in a small rural town or remote or very remote community (“rural”, “remote” and “very remote” communities are those that qualify as “MMM-5” to “MMM-7”, using the Department of Health’s classification system, which you can see here)
  • hold a Graduate Certificate or higher qualification in nursing or gerontology; business, leadership or management; other health discipline
  • have taken on one of these training responsibilities within paid work time:
    • infection prevention and control (IPC) lead
    • workplace/clinical supervision of undergraduate nurses
    • clinical supervision/mentoring of Aged Care Transition to Practice Program nurses
    • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who takes the lead on cultural safety training in their organisation.


Who is not eligible for the payment?

Only RNs are eligible for the payment. Other direct care workers including personal care workers, enrolled nurses and allied health professionals are not eligible.


How much is the payment?

Standard payment

For full-time RNs (35+ hours per week) the standard payment is $3,700.

For RNs who work less than fulltime hours, payment will be based on the average number of hours the RN worked per week across the year. So, if your average working week was half of a fulltime load, you will receive $1,850 (half of $3,700).


Additional payment

For full-time RNs (35+ hours per week) the additional payment is $2,300.

For RNs who work less than fulltime hours, payment will be based on the average number of hours the RN worked per week across the year.


Workers at multiple facilities

Workers who work at more than one facility over the next 12 months are eligible for a payment from each of the facilities.


How to apply

After the closing date (31 October 2022), aged care providers will be able to apply for the payment on behalf of their eligible employees. Individual RNs cannot apply.


How will payments be made?

Payments will be made to aged care providers, who will then pass on the payment to the employee as part of their salary. Providers will receive five per cent of each RN’s payment to cover the administrative costs associated with applying for the grant. This is on top of the RN’s payment.


What to do now

The bonus payments can help providers to retain and recruit staff, but only if the details of the payment are clearly communicated to existing and prospective RN staff. Communication strategies for existing staff include:

  • sharing the information in this article with RN staff via email or noticeboards
  • briefing the leadership team on the details of the payment and encouraging them to discuss it with RN staff one-to-one or at staff meetings.

For prospective staff, consider including some details about the bonus in your advertised position descriptions. It may also be worth getting in touch with any agencies you work with to ensure they are communicating the bonus payments opportunities to their staff.


More information

For more information, including some useful fact sheets, visit the department’s website.


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