Unique opportunity for former nursing professionals to top up their skills and return to work

Unique opportunity for former nursing professionals to top up their skills and return to work  name

Opportunities for people wanting to return to work in adult nursing, children’s nursing and midwifery are now available through the Return to Practice programme.

Return to Practice (RtP) gives people who have previously been Registered Nurses the opportunity to return to the profession by undertaking a return to nursing practice course.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust work in partnership with the University of Cumbria to support learners by providing clinical placements.

As part of the programme, learners will have to complete a minimum requirement of 150 practice hours in clinical practice (the amount of practice time varies depending on the length of time out of practice). The return to practice course is a combination of classroom (10 days) and placement based learning which takes six months to complete.

Health Education England fund the university tuition fees and also provide a £500 bursary towards travel, childcare costs etc.

Kathleen Conway, Practice Development Lead at NCIC, said: “We have successfully worked with UoC with this group of learners and some have gone onto work within the Trust.

“This is an opportunity for anyone who has been considering returning to practice and is a flexible way to get you back into nursing, please contact us to see how we can make it work for you.”

Kim Hanson, Programme Lead Return to Practice, University of Cumbria said: “You can apply for a place on the RTP programme regardless of how long you have been out of practice.

“Experienced nurses and midwives who want to come back to the profession have much to offer patients, employers and society. You will be well supported by the great return to practice team at university and in practice by experienced, supportive nurses/midwives at NCIC.”

Entry requirements

Students who have previously been on the UKCC/ NMC Register, but whose registration has lapsed (and therefore do not meet the requirements to maintain that registration with the NMC)

Closing date for applications to the June 2021 cohort is April 30, 2021.

If you are interested in this role please apply via: Module Return to Practice (Level 6) Course - University of Cumbria   or contact:

Kim Hanson, Programme Lead Return to Practice, at the University of Cumbria kim.hanson@cumbria.ac.uk

Kathleen Conway, Practice Development Lead at NCIC, Kathleen.Conway@ncic.nhs.uk or 07795266756.


Alison came back to nursing to help support the NHS through the Covid-19 pandemic. She has been working in the community supporting patients at home. She explains although it was a little intimidating stepping back into her nursing role she knew it was what she wanted to do.

Alison Mells was previously a District nurse with the upper Eden district nurses took some time out to concentrate on her family business but was compelled to return to her nursing roots when the pandemic hit in March of last year. Here Alison tells us about her decision to return to nursing to support the Trust and the NHS through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When it became apparent in March last year that the NHS could become overwhelmed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I made enquiries about coming back to nursing to help out.  My nursing registration had lapsed, but for me, once a nurse always a nurse. If the NHS was struggling then I wanted to help. I originally thought that I would come back as a health care assistant and I made enquiries locally, where I used to work with the Upper Eden District nurses. I then found out that the Government had introduced emergency legislation to allow the NMC to create a temporary nursing register for nurses who wanted to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “I applied to go on the temporary register and my registration became effective at the end of March 2020. I was contacted by the NHS bring back staff campaign and was accepted on the nursing bank with NCIC in April 2020. I was excited and terrified at the same time!! I was worried about returning to practice and being able to update my skills and also the possibility of passing covid on to my family at home.  

 “Before I stepped back into clinical practice I was asked to attend a training day at CIC called ‘Supporting the floor’. The course was for nurses returning to practice and for staff who were already in post who were being redeployed to other areas to help out due to Covid-19. The aim of the course was to update, refresh on some   essential clinical skills and to support confidence to deliver safe patient care. We covered topics such as basic life support, tissue viability, infection control, covid-19 and PPE, including donning and doffing safely, NEWS/sepsis overview.

 “Although I was the only nurse at the training day returning to practice, I realised that I was not the only nurse who felt apprehensive in the current situation. This was so helpful as we were all able to voice our concerns and support each other. Attending the training gave me a solid foundation to start back into nursing practice.

“I have been working as a community staff nurse with the Upper Eden district nursing team, based at Appleby, since May 2020.  Our amazing team lead Clare Martindale and all my colleagues have been so supportive, patient, and helpful.  I have sought advice and asked endless questions on numerous occasions and I would not be where I am today without them. 

“In my role as a community nurse, no two days are ever the same.  Working during the pandemic has at times been stressful, very sad, and extremely busy but also challenging and rewarding. Initially trying to care for patients whilst wearing PPE, with glasses steaming up and communicating with hard of hearing patients, through a mask and then visors was difficult. Learning to log everything electronically and agile working due to Covid-19 was a learning curve, whilst also dealing with changes to practice and updating my skills.

 “Some patients have not seen loved ones for months, it is a unique time to be nursing. I feel privileged to be part of a hardworking and dedicated team supporting patients and their families through this difficult time. I have always enjoyed nursing in the community. I am so glad that I accepted the challenge to return.

“I am now applying to return to the permanent nursing register and this should be complete in a few weeks time.”

 If you are interested in joining the Trust you can find out more about career opportunities on our website.