Return to Practice

If you were a Registered Nurse, Allied Health Professional or Midwife but have had a break, then you have valuable skills and experience and we would be happy to welcome you back and support your return to the profession.

Allied Health Professionals

Returnees who have left the HCPC register and wish to return to practice must apply to be re-admitted to the register before they can be contracted to work as professional practitioners, with a protected title.

Requirements of the re-registration process are flexible, and individuals wanting to return can decide how to complete their period of updating. Individuals can devise a bespoke professional development programme
that best fits their personal circumstances and learning needs, allowing them to update their knowledge and skills through a self-directed process. This can be undertaken in the form of supervised practice, and private or formal studies.

The HCPC specifies the minimum number of days required for updating, depending on the length of time an individual has been out of practice. No more than 50% of these can comprise private study. For further details please see the HCPC’s Return to Practice document:

Returning to practice (HCPC)

Nurses and Midwives

We offer a return to practice programme which consists of a work placement and a theoretical course taught by the University of Plymouth. Courses begin in October and March and the theoretical part of the training is usually completed over three months.

Return to Practice 2021 Key Features

We also offer financial support for people returning to nursing and midwifery, including a zero hours contract at band 3 for the duration of the placement, which includes payment for 450 clinical hours (plus 60 hours annual leave) and a bursary payment which consists of two payments of £500 to support you with travel, books, childcare etc.  The cost of the University programme is also covered for you.

If you are a nurse who has recently retired or taken a career break and do not wish to participate in a formal return to work programme then you may be interested in learning how you can contribute to patient care on a part-time basis or as part of our flexible workforce.

Do I need a degree to Return to Practice?

You do not need a degree to undertake the programme. However as nursing/midwifery is now only studied at degree level, the NMC require the Return to Practice programme to be undertaken at level 6 (degree level). If you pass this course, you will receive 20 credits at degree level which can be used towards completion of a healthcare degree. You will be given support in identifying your study skills needs when you start the programme and support will also be provided. Some materials and study skills packages are delivered through online learning resources, so some familiarity with using a computer is useful.

The content of the Return to Practice programme.

The theoretical element of the programme is taught over six days with additional learning days such as tutorials and seminars. It covers the following topics:

  • Professional and ethical practices
  • Patient safety
  • Quality care
  • Reflective practice
  • Changing face of health care provision
  • Resilience and personal action planning
  • Study skills

How long will it take to complete?

You will be required to undertake 450 hours of supervised clinical practice.

You will be expected to work a minimum of two shifts per week.  The hours worked will be discussed at interview, along with your chosen location/area for your placement.

There will be an ongoing assessment of your work during the placement. You will be assigned a Practice Assessor and also work with different Practice Supervisors who will assess your clinical skills whilst in placement.

Financial support for returnees.

NDHT offers a Zero Hours Contract for the duration of the placement, and you will be paid for 450 clinical hours (plus 60 hours annual leave) whilst on placement in NDHT (this is not available in many other Trusts).

You will also receive a bursary payment from Health Education Southwest which consists of two payments of £500 to support travel, books etc. This is paid through Payroll.

What do I need to do before applying?

As your NMC registration will have lapsed, you will need to provide evidence that you have been on the NMC register and that your registration has lapsed. The quickest way to obtain this information is to register with the NMC Online Service and print a copy of your lapsed registration status to bring to your interview.

You will also be asked to complete a values based literacy assessment before your interview.

How to apply.

If you have any queries regarding Return to Practice then please contact:

Julia Fuery Placement Development Team Lead
Tel: 01271 370261 or Email:

Last updated: September 22, 2021