Professional/Short course Return to Practice

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
6 consecutive weeks for theory; 4 to 8 months for the course
Blended delivery approach to theory
Course Director
Dr Shanthi Ramasubramaniam

20 credit level 6 module for qualified nurses

Page last updated 11 July 2024


This 20 credit Return to Practice programme is for qualified nurses (adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities) who have lapsed registration and wish to return to practice and re-register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Provision of Return to Practice (RTP) is an employer-led model with places commissioned by Health Education South West (HeSW).

Now that government guidelines placing restrictions on how students meet and learn at university have ended, the Return to Practice (Nursing) programme has adopted a more blended approach to its theory teaching and learning practices. This means that the course is now delivered using a mix of both face-to-face and online teaching.

The theory part of this level 6 (undergraduate level) programme runs over six consecutive weeks with sessions being held both face-to-face and online. The face-to-face sessions are scheduled for a full day (09:00-16:30), with the online sessions taking place on a Monday and Friday morning (09:00-12:30). There may, however, be slight amendments to this to allow for public holidays and other specific restrictions. However, the course itself has a duration of either approximately four or eight months.

You will commence your practice placement, undertaking a total of 450 hours of practice; you can do this either full or part time to suit your personal circumstances and this will be discussed at your healthcare organisation interview. The difference in time frame for completion (four or eight months) of the course is to allow for flexibility in individual circumstances. It is only after successful completion of the whole course (theory, placement, assessment) that you can be recommended for registration with the NMC. We have three intakes a year for this programme, starting in January, May, or September.

Watch the videos below to hear from key people regarding return to practice:

Entry requirements

Please check your eligibility against the new NMC standards for return to practice (PDF).

Careers / Further study

This module can contribute towards:




The course content typically covers:

  • Professional values
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Nursing practice and decision making
  • Leadership, management and team working

Learning and Teaching

The theory part of the programme is designed to support RTP students in updating their knowledge and skills on contemporary nursing practice. The theoretical aspect of the programme is run alongside a practice placement where returnees will complete practice competencies that meet the NMC outcomes that are required to be eligible to return to practice; these are:-

  • An understanding of the influence of health and social policy to the practice of nursing and midwifery
  • An understanding of the requirements of legislation, guidelines, codes of practice and polices relevant to the practice of nursing and midwifery.
  • An understanding of the current structure and organisation of care, nationally and locally.
  • An understanding of current issues in nursing and midwifery education and practice.
  • The use of relevant literature and research to inform the practice of nursing and midwifery.
  • The ability to identify and assess need, design and plan interventions and evaluate outcome in all relevant areas of practice, including the effective delivery of appropriate emergency care.
  • The ability to use appropriate communications, teaching and learning skills
  • The ability to function effectively in a team and participate in a multi-professional approach to people's care.
  • The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses, acknowledgement limitation of competence and recognising the importance of maintaining and developing professional competence.

In addition to the practice outcomes, you will be required to pass an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) at level 3. You will also need to compile a professional portfolio of evidence and pass a numeracy assessment to complete the programme.


  • Practice Assessment Document (PAD) - The PAD is assessed in practice; this enables you to demonstrate the achievement of a range of proficiencies which align with the NMC's Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses (NMC, 2018).
  • Numeracy and calculations of medicines assessment - you must pass this assessment at 100%.
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) of a maximum duration 1 hour.

Formative assessment opportunities will be available through group discussions, simulated activities, and peer learning.



In order to enrol onto the RTP UWE Bristol programme, the first step for you is to secure an RTP placement with a healthcare provider.

Most large NHS trusts would periodically advertise for the RTP post on the NHS jobs website.

However, you may want to consider and approach some local organisations (via their educational department or for example a GP practice manager) and enquire about the opportunity for undertaking the RTP programme with them.

For more information about the placement opportunities available across a range of clinical settings and locations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, please view the Healthier Together Return to Practice Guide (PDF).

If you are currently working for a healthcare organisation, you may want to discuss the RTP option during your PDR meeting or with your manager. 

Study facilities

The College of Health, Science and Society has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the facilities it provides.

Get a feel for the Health Professions facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Please visit full fee information to see the price brackets for our module.The placement provider will apply for a grant from Health Education South West (HESW) who fund the cost for this programme.

A bursary of £500 is available to support your study and associated costs. See the NHS Returning to Nursing website for additional information.


Please click on the Apply Now button to view dates.

How to apply

Applications are initially made through employing organisations. You will find a list of supporting organisations through the Health Education South West website. Return to practice places  may also be advertised through NHS jobs and other local sites.   

Interviews will be held jointly with the employing organisation and UWE Bristol. Please do not submit an application prior to this interview. 

Successful applicants should then register online for the Return to Practice course within seven days of accepting the post and upload the completed RTP Placement Information form (DOC) to the CPD Portal (UWE Bristol online application).

Closing date for all applications is two weeks prior to the start of the course. Please check course details for closing date.


1.    Please ensure that you have received your Honorary Contract before applying for this course online.

2.    You will need to arrange the completion of the RTP Placement Information form (DOC) which must be completed by your interviewer/employer. Please ensure that the completed form and saved on your device before you apply online for the course. Once you have applied, it is essential that you upload the form to your application. If you fail to upload your document, your online application will be cancelled.

3.    Your NMC letter showing your registration has lapsed will need to be uploaded once you have applied.

4.    Once your Placement form and NMC letter has been completed and saved, you can then use the Apply Now button.

5.    Select the course date you have agreed with your employer.

6.    Select Apply for Course.

7.    If you are new to UWE Bristol CPD, you will need to register to use the Professional Development portal.

8.    If you have already registered on the Professional Development portal, sign in and complete the application.

Extra information

If the course you are applying for is fully online or blended learning, please note that you are expected to provide your own headsets/microphones.

For further information