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Return to nursing

Inspired by the idea of returning to nursing? Still committed to care and compassion? If you’ve ever thought about returning to practice, now is the time to do it.


If you have been a registered nurse previously and wish to return to the profession, then you may need to undertake a return to practice programme. The programme is essentially a period of updating your skills and knowledge, so that you can return to work in nursing and become re-registered.

To ensure that returning to nursing is as simple as possible for you, return to practice programmes have been refreshed across the country so that you can enjoy a supportive, flexible and varied learning experience. If you’re looking to complete a return to practice course, you can now expect:

  • course fees to be paid
  • additional financial support towards travel, childcare and book costs, etc.
  • clear information on how to find a course
  • support in finding a clinical placement
  • theory and clinical-based training
  • access to a mentor
  • simulation techniques to practice skills
  • preceptorship support

The HEE Come Back to Nursing campaign has a separate website: comeback.hee.nhs.uk

This fresh approach to return to practice supports nurses on their journey back into nursing.

To follow the conversation on Twitter, search #ComeBackToNursing

Returning to nursing

If your registration has lapsed you will be required to undertake a Return to Practice Programme. This will be tailored to reflect the length of time you have been out of practice and your lapsed registration. Health Education North West have producted a guidance document on returning to practice. If your registration has continued but you have been out of practice, you are not required to undertake an academic programme. You will however require a period of supervised practice/preceptorship to refresh your competencies, tailored to your needs.

There are six universities in the North West offering Return to Practice programmes. When you are not in University you will be out on placement. In the North West all trusts offer Return to Practice placements and this page contains the individual organisation contact information.

If you know which geographical area you wish to undertake your practice placements it may be helpful to contact the trusts in that area as this will give you an opportunity to obtain answers to any queries regarding returning to nursing as well as explore the differing and unique placement and employment opportunities available which you may not yet have considered. 

If you are looking to return to Community, Practice Nursing or Health Visiting you masy wish to contact your local chief nurse or practice nurse lead, who are more than happy to answer any of your queries and the opportunities available. You can also use the Health Careers website to find return to practice courses.

Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Cumbria have created recommended reading lists for anyone wishing to return to practice, which can be downloaded below:

The universities and placement providers are your first point of contact in securing a Return to Practice programme/placement; if following these discussions you require further information please contact the kim.leigh@nw.hee.nhs.uk

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