Returning to nursing

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The Return to Practice programme for nurses is run by Health Education England (HEE), recognising that supporting experienced nurses to return to practice is an effective route to strengthen our workforce and bring expertise back into practice.

If your registration has lapsed, you’ll either complete a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved return to practice course which takes between 3-12 months or undertake a test of competence.

The return to practice course is open to all, regardless of how long you have been out of practice. The course will update you on any new developments in nursing and you will have support and mentoring throughout.

There are RtP nursing courses across England but CLCH will be working with the University of Brighton as they offer both nursing and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN).

The amount of retraining you require depends on how long you have been out of practice. The longer the period, the more practice hours you will need to complete but we are here to support you through the process.  All course fees will be paid by the NHS.

The test of competence is made up of:

  • A multiple-choice computer based test (CBT)
  • A practical test known as the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

You can apply through the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) website where you’ll also find materials and reading to help you prepare. There is a cost for taking the test and the NHS will pay this, but you may have to pay up front. You can then claim reimbursement once you have registered with the NMC and are in employment with us here at CLCH.

The return to practice programme generally takes 3 months to complete and is a combination of classroom and placement-based learning. The hours you spend on placement will vary, depending on how long you have been out of practice.

Flexible working for nurses is an option but while undertaking your return to practice programme you need to commit to a minimum of 22.5 hours per week.

Many organisations now offer return to practice placements that lead to a permanent position, and that is our intention here at CLCH.

Here at CLCH we offer an employer-led return to practice programme, where you are employed as a return to practice nurse, on band 4, and are guaranteed a post once you have successfully completed the programme.

Keep an eye on NHS Jobs for return to practice nursing opportunities here at CLCH

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