Student nurse Shupikai Mbizvo, 29, of Montague Road, Slough, who has no legal status in the UK, was sentenced at Reading Crown Corut on Friday for gaining the place at Thames Valley University in 2005.
After an investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Service, she was found guilty of using a false instrument, contrary to Section 3 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
The service said she had cost the NHS £14,500.
Mbizvo was arrested by police for the offence while on a placement at Wexham Park Hospital, in March last year.
It was found she had provided the university and NHS bursaries board with forged Home Office letters, stating she had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Nicole McLaughlin, South east operational fraud manager for the NHS said: "It is not acceptable for anybody to exploit the UK’s system of supporting nursing students.
"The counter fraud service will follow up on all allegations of fraud and wherever appropriate will investigate and press for prosecution. This outcome sends out a strong deterrent message to anyone considering committing fraud against the NHS."
A universtiy sopkesman said Government changes to immigration laws saw a points-based system introduced earlier this year for international students applying for visas.
She said: "Although we have stringent measures in place that ensure all applications and accompanying documentation are carefully checked, these changes reflect Govermment recognition that sophisticated fraudsters can bypass even the most rigorous systems." Windsor Express (UK)