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Return to Practice Programme

Award Winning Return to Practice Programme Returns

We’re running our award-winning* Return to Practice programme again.

The programme, due to start in September 2018, is designed to give people previously trained as Registered or Enrolled Nurses an accessible route back into the profession. Key features of the programme are:

  • Anyone who has been a Registered General Nurse or an Enrolled Nurse can apply, regardless of the length of time they have been out of practice
  • The programme is designed to be flexible and fit around home and life commitments
  • You are employed by the Trust whilst undertaking the training, earning a full time salary of £16,968. This will increase to that of a qualified Nurse (currently from £22,128) when the programme is successfully completed
  • Guaranteed employment in a nursing role for those who successfully complete the programme (full or part time employment is available)
  • All fees associated with the training elements of the programme are funded by the Trust
  • Trainees receive high quality support and training throughout the programme from an experienced Practice Education Team, as well as Nursing Mentors


Recruitment to the programme will start in April 2018 and applications can be made via our Current Vacancies (link opens in new window). You can also direct any questions to resourcing@mcht.nhs.uk. 

*Student Nursing Times Awards 2017 - Return to Practice Course of the Year


A testimonial from Sharon Harrison, who retrained with the Return to Practice Programme

I first became aware of this programme from a friend who had heard about it on the radio.  I then looked at the Leighton Hospital website and found some information and contact details.  I was attracted by the way the course was being advertised, particularly as it stated that it didn’t matter how long you had been out of nursing, that there would be a salary while re-training, and the promise of guaranteed employment on completion of successful re-registration.

I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1990 and had last worked in this role in 2002.  I regretted leaving the profession and had looked into returning several times. However, I was deterred by the combined factors of a two-stage process of applying to a university course and securing a clinical placement separately, and also not receiving a full time income during the re-training period.

I emailed the hospital and received a prompt reply offering an informal appointment to speak to the lead nurse responsible for the course.  I found the friendly attitude of staff reassuring when arriving at reception for the appointment, as I was unfamiliar with the hospital. The initial discussion was useful and informative; I was given the outline of the programme, and the reasons it came about were explained.  We also generally chatted about returning to practice, my reasons for returning, and my anxieties regarding the length of time I had been out of nursing.  The application and interview process were relatively straightforward, and again the availability and helpfulness of administration staff were supportive.

The way the programme has been run is excellent, having university days at the hospital and training sessions run by the Trust.  During my time in the clinical area I usually work with my mentor. The ward staff have been extremely welcoming, which has been an important factor. From the outset I have felt valued and part of the ward team. Being part of a group of nurses returning to practice has been useful as we can empathise and support each other, and during university days there is a chance to debrief.  The whole course is very similar to the way I originally trained and I feel that the support given by the practice education facilitators, lead nurse and university lecturer has been invaluable.

I would recommend returning to practice in this way, as the whole way the programme is set up is to nurture and support.  Even though the clinical environment can be demanding and tiring I am thoroughly enjoying being a nurse again.

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