Opportunities for people wanting to return to work in adult nursing, children’s nursing and midwifery are now available through a unique 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 (NCIC) NHS Foundation Trust work in partnership with the University of Cumbria (UoC) 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 funds the university tuition fees and also provide a £500 bursary towards travel, childcare costs etc.
- 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.
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 said 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 but 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 last year.
“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,” said Alison.
“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 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.”
Alison says she has not looked back since.
“I have been working as a community staff nurse with the Upper Eden district nursing team, based at Appleby, since May 2020,” she said.
“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.
“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.”