Return to health visiting - FAQS

Why should I consider returning now?

Our programme will support you and enable you to renew your registration with your professional body and re-enter practice with competence and confidence. You have the skills and experience that can make a big difference to children and families so we are keen to get you back. 

Do I need to retrain?

The amount of retraining you will need depends on whether you have retained your registration as a health visitor and also whether you have retained your registration on part 1 or 2 of the NMC register (as a registered nurse or midwife). You can find further information on returning to the register on the NMC website. If you need to re-join the register you can join one of the Return to Practice courses being run across the country. If you have an active registration as a health visitor, you can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website. 

Will the courses be funded?

Yes in most cases you won’t have to pay course fees. In addition Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, occupational health clearance and uniform costs may also be paid for you.

Will bursaries be available?

Yes, the NHS provides you with a stipend of £1,000 as well as funding the course and placement fees. 

Will the course lead directly to a job?

Not necessarily. In most cases after successfully completing the course you will need to apply for a job.

I have retired and receive a NHS pension but am interested in returning part-time. Is this possible?

It is possible to do a part-time Return to Practice course. The Return to Practice Co-ordinator at your local Health Education England (HEE) office should be able to provide support with finding a suitable course.

It is also possible to work flexibly once in post. You would need to discuss this with any potential employers. You may find Returning to the NHS after retirement useful.

Will I be able to work flexibly if I return?

Flexible working for health visitors is possible. You would need to discuss this with potential employers.

Is there anything I can do to prepare for the course?

You could contact your local Return to Practice course provider for a suggested reading list to get you up to date with current developments in health visiting. Your local NHS trust may hold open days where you can visit local hospitals or other healthcare providers. You could also contact the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA) for information.

How long will the course take?

Courses vary but typically take six months to a year. However, some courses can be tailored to individual needs and may be longer. The length of course depends on how long you have been off the register and how may practice hours you need to do to be eligible to re-register. The length of the course also depends on whether you need to return to part 1 or 2 of the NMC register as a registered nurse or midwife.  Courses can also be flexible to existing commitments, such as childcare. The time it takes to complete a course will depend on how much time you can commit to it. You should speak to individual course providers for details. Contacts can be found on our health visitor course finder.

How do I find out about courses running in my area?

Find health visiting return to practice courses on our course finder.

I haven’t practised for quite a long time. Does this matter?

No because in most cases courses can be individually tailored to give you the support you need. All courses are different so you should contact individual course providers for full details. 

Is there someone I can get in touch with to discuss my plans?

Yes, you can get in touch with the national return to practice team who will be able to give you individual advice: [email protected]

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