Return to practice

Are you an experienced nurse who has been on a career break? If you have let your registration lapse but you want to get back to nursing, we can help.

East Kent Hospitals welcomes applications from all nurses who are considering returning to the profession through the return to practice programme.

We are working with Canterbury Christ Church University to offer an accredited return to practice programme, which means you could be back nursing in just six months.

Once you have made the decision to return to nursing, contact us and we'll arrange an interview discuss your past experiences, future plans, requirements for return to practice, and your areas of specialist interest. Once we have agreed the way forward, your information will be shared with Matrons and Ward Managers, enabling the Trust to offer a placement that reflects your area of specialist interest.

Part of our local recruitment initiative is to support and develop strong relationships with our return to practice nurses, creating exciting employment opportunities at East Kent Hospitals on completion of the course.

Get in touch

For further information, or if you have any other questions that are not answered below, please contact Sarah Goodden:

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to be employed by East Kent Hospitals to gain a placement?

There are two ways of accessing placements for the return to practice programme

  1. You may apply for a position at East Kent Hospitals through the NHS jobs website. You will be expected to apply for a band 2, Health Care Assistant role if your registration has lapsed

  2. East Kent Hospitals has a contractual agreement with Canterbury Christ Church University which enables return to practice nurses to complete their practice hours without having to be employed by the Trust. The placement will be arranged after the individual interview has been completed.

Are there any placement areas that will not accept return to practice students?

No, all areas can accept return to practice students, however, there are times when some specialist areas find it more challenging to achieve the basic skill requirements for re-entry to the register. When this occurs the placement will be sought close by and opportunities to visit these areas will be arranged during the practice hours.

How many hours do I need to do to return to the NMC register?

The number of hours required to complete the return to practice programme depends on the number of years away from practice:

  • Up to 5 years out of practice: 100 hours

  • 6-10 years out of practice: 100 hours

  • 11-15 years out of practice: 150 hours

  • Over 16 years out of practice: 200 hours.

How is the course funded?

The course fees are paid directly to the university by Health Education England. Placements will receive £500 for supporting the student in practice and the student receives £500 to support the purchase of learning materials.

Pre-placement support

Before you start your placement with East Kent Hospitals, training will be given in Vital Pac and Glucose meter reading and recording.

How will the placement support return to practice students?

All staff in the placement area are able to provide information and knowledge to return to practice students. However, each student will be allocated a sign off mentor who will supervise and assess the student’s ability to complete the standards required for re-entry to the NMC register.

Students will also receive supervision from the Clinical Support and Learning facilitators (CS&LF) who work as part of the Workforce Development Education and Training team. CS&LFs will meet with students on a one to one basis to monitor progress and provide extra support in specific skills and competencies. 

What are the shift patterns?

Shifts consist of Early, Late, Nights and long days. Return to practice students can opt to work any combination of shifts as long as there is time spent with their mentors. Students will not be expected to work night shifts. All duty planning is completed by the placement managers and start times vary for each placement.

What uniform will be worn during placement hours?

Return to practice nurses are students from Canterbury Christ Church University. Whilst completing placement hours nurses will wear the Canterbury Christ Church University student uniform.

What happens once the course is completed?

Once return to practice students have completed the course and all placement and university assessments have been graded, the students will be informed of their results. Those that have been successful will be able to re-register with the NMC, this is completed through the university not by East Kent Hospitals. It is at this time return to practice nurses can apply for registered nurse jobs.

How much support will I receive in my new job?

At East Kent Hospitals we will support you through a six month preceptorship programme to help with the transition back to the registered nurse role. Within this period, Trust based training in Administration of Medicines; Intravenous Drug administration will be provided.

Any other questions?

There are bound to be more questions about the return to practice training and your needs. Take time to think about them, write them down and ask questions at your individual interview.

For further information, please contact Sarah Goodden:

We look forward to hearing from you.