Student nurses working on a dummy patient in UWE's practice hospital ward

Professional course

Return to Practice

Qualified nurses and Health Visitors

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Nursing and Midwifery
Glenside and Gloucester
Programme leader:
Dr Nicky Goodall
Key fact:
The duration of the programme will be dependent on the length of time you have been out of practice and the number of hours you can spend in your practice placement per week.  It is anticipated the programme will be completed between four and nine months.

Page last updated 30 May 2019


This Return to Practice Level 3 programme is for qualified nurses (adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities) and health visitors who have lapsed registration with the NMC and who wish to return to practice and re-register with the NMC.

Provision of Return to Practice has recently changed to an employer led model with places commissioned by Health Education South West (HeSW).

In conjunction with The University of the West of England, healthcare organisations such as NHS Trusts, GP practices and independent providers will be supporting Nurses and Health Visitors to return to practice, with the potential of employment on successful completion of the programme. 

The programme has six face to face study days which are spread out throughout the duration of the programme. From January 2018, a Return to Practice for GP Nurses is also available - in addition to the six study days, four workshops focusing on clinical skills specific to primary care are included.

Watch the Return to Practice promotional video on YouTube.

Entry requirements

FAQs for potential returnees.

FAQs for employers.

New Return to Practice Standards:
Please check your eligibility against the new standards (PDF) if you are commencing this course after January 2020.



Professional Values

  • Policies and regulations that drive and influence care delivery
  • Research awareness and Evidence Based Practice
  • Ethical practice
  • Reflective practice

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Evaluation of care delivery
  • Interprofessional working
  • Compassion in care

Nursing Practice and Decision Making

  • Primary Care, Secondary Care & Tertiary care
  • Public health
  • Patient Safety and the identification of unsafe practice
  • Medicines and Management
  • Assessment tools
  • Safeguarding patients (Adults, children and families) raising concerns
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Basic Life Support (Adult and Paediatric)
  • Manual Handling
  • Action Planning

Leadership, Management and Team Working

  • Self-awareness in learning and development needs
  • Teaching and supporting others
  • Questioning of evidence

Learning and Teaching

The programme has six face to face study days which are spread out throughout the duration of the programme. 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 academic assignment at level 3, which is based on reflective practice. You will also need to compile a professional portfolio of evidence and pass a numeracy assessment to complete the programme.



Practice placement where returnees will complete practice competencies that meet the NMC outcomes.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Please visit full fee information to see the price brackets for our module. (Course fees are funded by Health Education South West, HESW).

A bursary is available through HESW to support your study and associated costs and this is £1,000 for nurses and £500 for health visitors and midwives. 


Please click on the Apply Now button to view dates.

How to apply

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 7 days of accepting the post.

Extra information

As part of the RTP initiative, we have negotiated access to the SNAP numeracy testing tool developed in the North West.

The registration pathway is as follows:

  • Access SN@P resource at
  • Click on 'Register' and then 'Healthcare Professional'
  • Site will ask for an 'assignment number'. Input any six digit number (e.g. 123456) when registering
  • Select 'National Return to Practice campaign' from Organisation drop down menu
  • Select 'Nursing - Return to Practice' from Directorate drop down menu
  • Select 'RTP Applicants' from Department options

Users will then be asked to complete a short registration form to create their username and password. Once this has been done, the users will receive a message to say their account is awaiting approval. The team in the North West have agreed to process registrations on our behalf.

For further information

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