Training and development (theatre nursing)

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

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


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

Training courses 

There are a number of courses in operating theatre/perioperative available in the UK. These are open to nurses in employment. They are at Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), degree and Masters levels and often on a part-time basis. Information on these courses is available on the Association for Perioperative Practice website.

Development opportunities

You’ll have several options to progress your career in theatre nursing, including management, education, research and advanced practice. With experience, you might be able to reach consultant nurse who are some of the highest paid nurses in the profession.

Experienced theatre nurses can also take training to work as surgical care practitioners. After a typical two-year training programme, you’ll be able to complete certain surgical procedures under the supervision of a consultant surgeon.

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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