Training and development (prison nursing)

This page has information on the training and development opportunities in prison nursing. 

After qualifying as nurse, you need to be committed to learning and always keep your skills and knowledge up to date.

You will get training on prison-related aspects of your work, in addition to normal continuing professional development (CPD) activities. The partnership between the prison service and the NHS often means that work and development opportunities are available to you in both organisations at the same time. 

Prison-specific training is also available, including healthcare manager leadership training, vocational qualifications in custodial healthcare and transcultural healthcare practice training. Comprehensive induction programmes are usually available at local level through your employer.


To maintain your registration to practise with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you’ll need to go through the process of revalidation.

The process is straightforward and will help you as a nurse or midwife to demonstrate that you practise safely and effectively. You will have to revalidate every three years to renew your registration.

Find out more about revalidation on the NMC microsite

Development opportunities

With further training and experience, prison nurses can apply for more senior nursing roles. These include senior practice nurse/nurse practitioner and advanced nurse practitioner positions either within prisons or general practices. More information on these roles is available on training and development for practice nurses.  You may want to specialise in a specific area of prison nursing such as mental ill health or substance misuse.

NHS Leadership Academy

The NHS Leadership Academy runs a number of programmes to support nurses into leadership roles including the Mary Seacole programme. They also offer a programme purely for frontline nurses and midwives to help develop their skills and build confidence.

More information on the NHS Leadership Academy and its programmes

Education and training roles  

Education, training the professional development of the next generation of nurses is vital to delivery of patient care. Nurses can get involved through a number of roles:

  • preceptors
  • mentors
  • practice educators
  • lecturers

Click on the links below for more information about these roles.

Nursing careers resource

A careers resource has been jointly developed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Health Education England (HEE) to help registered nurses and the clinical support workforce plan their health careers effectively. It shows different ways that you can develop your career from a band 5 role with case studies, videos and next steps.

Visit the RCN/HEE careers resource for registered band 5 nurses

  • Preceptors offer guidance and support to newly qualified nurses. They will be qualified practitioners and normally have experience in the area of practice as the practitioner requiring support.

  • Mentors or assessors are responsible for a range of activity and learning for student nurses, such as the quality of the learning in a practice setting and the assessment of a student’s competence.

  • Practice educators lead the teaching and development in the practical setting rather than the theoretical setting which would be led by a lecturer. The practice educator will provide guidance and support to mentors involved with students and will provide a link between the practice setting and the higher education institution.


  • The lecturer is responsible for classroom teaching in higher education institutions. The role is similar to that of the practice educator in the practice environment and both roles have equal standing.

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