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Return to Nursing Practice

CPD and short courses (short course)

Blended learning

12 weeks

Module level: 6


Are you a qualified adult, child or mental health nurse who'd like to apply for re-entry to the professional register? Our 12-week course, validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), can help you get your career back on track quickly and safely. Please note: this course is not available for overseas nurses who wish to register for the first time with the NMC.

Our course aims to prepare nurses to return to the NMC register and will enable you to adapt to meet the future nurse standards in a continually changing and challenging environment, within a diverse cultural, social and economic healthcare system. In order to achieve this, you'll explore the development of evidence-based practice and its role in the provision of person-centred quality care. You'll also be encouraged to reflect on changes in practice and apply emerging evidence bases to this.

Delivered as a single 30-credit (level 6) module, you'll be expected to undertake:

  • a minimum of 150 super-numerary practice hours, but this will be dependent on the length of time since you were last in practice
  • 54 teaching hours should be 84 teachers hours
  • 96 hours of self -managed learning should be 216 hours self-managed learning.
How you'll learn

The module will be taught through a blended learning approach.

Skills sessions will be taught face-to-face in a skills laboratory. This face-to-face learning will be supported by online materials and supernumerary clinical practice hours.

Meanwhile, theory will be taught through our online learning platform, Canvas.

View profiles of our partner NHS Trusts.

If you aren't currently in employment it's advised, but not essential, that you obtain some experience as a health care support worker ahead of your application, particularly if you've been out of practice for a prolonged number of years. ARU has agreement and support from a range of placement areas across Cambridgeshire and Essex, who are enthusiastic about placing returners. These placement areas will be interviewing and recruiting return to practice students who wish to work with them as qualified Nurses on successful completion of the course and will provide mentors in clinical practice to support you in your studies.

While you're studying, you'll be supernumerary wear a student uniform so you can be recognised as a learner in the practice area and colleagues can support your professional development.


Attendance at your interview is compulsory.

  • Completion of Practice Assessment Documents
  • Medicine calculations test
  • Narrated PowerPoint presentation.

You'll need to demonstrate competence in your sphere of clinical practice, via the national and supplementary practice documents for Return to Nursing Practice, and these will be assessed as pass or fail. You'll also need to pass a medicine calculations test and submit a narrated PowerPoint presentation. Satisfactory completion of all elements, including the achievement of the NMC standards (2018/9), will enable you to be eligible to apply for the appropriate professional qualification and re-entry onto the professional register.

How to apply

Direct applicants: You can apply to us for a place on this course, then we'll work with you to find a suitable placement to undertake your clinical hours if you've not been able to do so.

Employed route: Most of our local practice partners offer an employed route for Return to Nursing Practice. You'll first need to apply with your chosen Trust via NHS Jobs.

Applicants accepted onto the course are fully funded. Direct applicants will receive a £1,000 stipend; employer-led applicants will not receive a stipend as they are salaried.

Who should attend?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) require that all registrants undertake a minimum number of practice hours in each three-year period to remain current on the register (NMC,2018). If you're a qualified adult, child or mental health nurse unable to demonstrate this requirement, you may undertake a return to nursing practice module as a means of re-entering the register. You'll need to provide evidence of your lapsed registration with the NMC and confirmation of permission to undertake the module by the NMC, where appropriate.

You'll have to provide evidence of your original registration, disclose any previous restrictions on practice, and have access to a relevant area of practice to enable you to complete the clinical practice element of the module.

You'll also require:

  • a satisfactory DBS
  • a professional reference
  • occupational health clearance
  • GCSE or equivalent in English and Maths, to demonstrate that you meet the NMC requirements for numeracy and literacy. If you've not previously been taught and assessed in English for at least two years, you must also demonstrate that you meet NMC English language requirements.

You'll be required to attend an interview prior to acceptance on the course, which will assess digital and technological literacy and values in accordance with the NMC Code and also undertake our preparation for return to nursing practice online.


Please note: timetables are still to be confirmed, dates may be subject to change.

Trimester 1

  • 24 September - online
  • 26 September - face to face skills day
  • 3 October - online
  • 10 October - online
  • 17 October - online
  • 24 October - online
  • 31 October - face to face skills day
  • 7 November - online
  • 14 November - online
  • 21 November - online
  • 26 November - face to face skills day
  • 28 November - online
  • 5 December - online
  • 12 December - online

Trimester 2

  • 14 January - online
  • 16 January - face to face skills day
  • 23 January - online
  • 30 January - online
  • 6 February - online
  • 13 February - online
  • 20 February - online
  • 27 February - face to face skills day
  • 6 March - online
  • 13 March - online
  • 18 March - face to face skills day
  • 20 March - online
  • 27 March - online
  • 3 April - online

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care at ARU is primed to meet the demand for healthcare professionals, doctors, scientists and social workers in the East of England.

We've been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that our students want the very best experiential learning, and we've invested heavily in purpose-built simulated wards, science labs and skills spaces, to support your learning every step of the way.

Where can I study?

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study through a mix of face-to-face teaching and online sessions.

More about blended learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

Places are fully funded


Contact details

Debra Quartermaine
[email protected]

CPD Admissions
[email protected]

Entry requirements

To access this course, you will need to provide evidence of:

  • your lapsed Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration and details of any restrictions on your practice (if applicable)
  • GSCE English and Maths (or equivalent)
  • an enhanced, current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (we can help you to arrange this)
  • character references
  • occupational health clearance (we can help you to arrange this).

Prior to application, you are strongly advised to have gained healthcare support worker experience in your field of practice in an Acute NHS Trust (for at least six months).

If you're unsure about any of the above, contact our CPD Admissions Team [email protected], or if you're employed by a trust, please contact your trust manager.

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Apply now

Apply directly to ARU

Please also complete a supplementary information form when applying for this course.

Apply online