Returning to nursing
Getting back to the job that you love may be easier than you think. The support you receive means you can return to nursing with confidence.
If you are no longer a registered nurse, there are a couple of ways you can return:
- you could do a return to practice course
- you could do a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Test of Competence (ToC)
Return to practice course
By the end, you'll have the skills and knowledge to be able to return with confidence.
- Find out more about the return to practice courses
- Find out more about the return to practice course for general practice nursing
- Read Sarah's story
- Read Willow's story
NHS Health Education England (HEE) will pay for your course and placement fees. You'll also be given £500 for childcare, travel and book costs.
If you decide to do the NMC Test of Competence, HEE will also reimburse any associated costs.
"My biggest concern was my first day back on the ward. But I felt incredibly supported."
What do I do next?
Use our course finder to look for return to nursing programmes and trusts that provide placements in your area. You can also use our course finder to look for return to practice - general practice nursing programmes.
Some NHS employers recruit nurses directly to return to practice courses. Just visit NHS Jobs and search 'return to practice' for live vacancies.
Universities in Wales also run RTP nursing programmes. Visit the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership website.
NMC test of competence
It’s made up of two parts:
- a multiple-choice computer based test (CBT)
- a practical test known as the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
There is a cost for taking the test and the NHS will pay this but you may have to pay up front. You can then claim reimbursement once you have registered with the NMC and are in employment.
If you think this could be the route for you, you can email us and we'll put you in touch with someone in your local area who can offer tailored advice.