The University of Wolverhampton

UGCREDIT20Return to Nursing Practice


The aim of this course is to enable qualified nurses to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) regulatory requirements for renewal of registration and re-entry to the Register following a break in practice. Students are encouraged to develop skills in lifelong learning as required by the Post Registration Education and Practice standards.

This course enables previously registered practitioners who have been out of practice to fulfill current NMC requirements. To return to the appropriate part of the register ready to enter clinical practice as a safe and competent practitioner who is able to provide a high standard of care and be accountable for that care

The Return to Nursing Practice course is available to undertake at either Diploma level (level 5) or Degree level (level 6) and 20 academic credits are attached. If you have a degree already or have evidence of 120 credits at level 5 then you can choose to undertake the degree module.

Please read the applicant information sheet before applying.

Entry requirements

  • If you have been out of nursing practice for a period of 3 years or more, or need to refresh your knowledge and skills prior to re-registering with the NMC then you are eligible to undertake the Return to Nursing Practice course.
  • You will be interviewed with the course leader and another member of University or Practice staff, which will include a discussion regarding a suitable clinical placement for you.
  • You will be required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously known as the criminal record check via the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)). Evidence that this has been done is required following the individual interview. Please note, having a criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from returning to nursing.
  • Medical clearance is required to ensure that you are fit for work.

The course will run in January 2015 and March 2015 while funding is being offered from Health Education West Midlands. Interviews will take place in November, December and early January for the January 2015 cohort and during February and March for the March 2015 cohort. An interview does not guarantee a place on the course and if you are returning after many years away from nursing practice, you will need to provide good rationale for wishing to return to nursing within the 'Personal Statement' section of the on line application form.

Fees and finance

2015/6 Fees for this course have not yet been agreed. As a guide please find below fees for last year.

2014/5 Home/EU International
Part time £1,494

The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2015/6. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact 01902 321150

These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

There is currently a national recruitment drive for Returners to Nursing Practice, and therefore Health Education West Midlands are providing funding for the course until 2017, as well as a £500 financial contribution all students to cover travel / childcare & study costs.

Fees at Partner Colleges are not yet available.


The vast majority of the students who complete the course successfully find employment as a Registered Nurse having regained confidence, ensuring their practice is up to date and their knowledge is evidence based.

Following the Return to Practice course some students choose to continue with part-time studies at University in order to enhance their careers even further.


This course is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Diploma level (level 5) has 20 credits attached and degree level (level 6) study has 20 credits attached.

Course content

  • The course will involve an element of theory as well as practice placements.
  • Following your study days in school, you will commence a pre-arranged placement in a clinical area where you will be supervised by a suitably qualified mentor who will be available to support you. Your placements are usually in areas that currently take student nurses from the University of Wolverhampton or another university.
  • You will take responsibility for your own learning by negotiating practice outcomes with your mentor during your placement. You will lead the assessment process by preparing evidence to support your practice performance, and negotiate with your mentor a suitable time for assessment.
  • This course is assessed by the completion of 14 clinical practice outcomes that have to be successfully achieved in practice in order to pass the course and are assessed by the Sign Off Mentor.
  • You will produce written evidence of how you have underpinned your knowledge with theory about your journey throughout the Return to Nursing Practice course.


You are strongly advised to secure your own placement prior to commencing the course. All placement areas must have had an educational audit undertaken and have a ‘sign off’ mentor to support you. The University will require this evidence prior to commencing the placement. For further advice contact Jackie Mitchell, Course Leader (see details to the left).

Your clinical placement is where you will complete the clinical part of the course. The NMC require that returners spend a minimum of 75 hours, and a maximum of 150 in supervised clinical practice before returning to the Register. We strongly advise that you should spread these hours over 4 to 6 months, and if necessary complete more than 150 hours if you feel you need more time to be competent and confident in practice.

If you are currently working, please consider very carefully how you would incorporate your clinical hours into your current job. It is not permissible to try to complete the clinical hours working weekends only. You need to spread your hours over weekdays and weekends in order to gain useful and varied experience. You may work one or two nights if you wish, but the majority of your clinical time will be on day duty covering mornings, afternoons and evenings with your sign off mentor.


By the end of the course, including your directed and self directed study, you should be able to:

Level 5

Critically reflect on your role as a nurse and demonstrate safe, competent and professional practice in the health and social care setting.

Utilise the databases and search strategies to identify and appraise evidence for best practice; demonstrate application of findings to practice.

Critically analyse the impact of a range of national policies and strategies on local provision of health and social care.

Critically reflect on your individual learning needs for continuing professional development and accountability in order to maintain registered nurse status and enhance your future practice.

Level 6

Critically evaluate your role as a nurse and demonstrate safe, competent and professional practice in the health and social care setting.

Collect, analyse and synthesise evidence for best practice; demonstrate the application and dissemination of findings in practice.

Critically evaluate the impact of a range of national policies and strategies on local provision of health and social care.

Demonstrate the synthesis and critical evaluation of your individual learning needs for continuing professional development and accountability in order to maintain registered nurse status and enhance your future practice.

Why Wolverhampton?

  • Nursing is an exciting and developing profession that you will have previously enjoyed, and this course will provide a broad-based update on essential subjects that will allow you to continue your career in nursing.
  • If you have been a previously Registered Nurse on any part of the current or former Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or UKCC Register, this course will enable you to re-register and return to nursing practice.
  • Whether you have been out of practice for a long period of time, or have had a career break, you are welcome to apply for this course and there is no upper age limit.


"The course enabled me to come back into nursing with confidence knowing I had the skills and knowledge to be a competent practitioner. All of the students on the course came from differing backgrounds, both professional and personally and the course was tailored to individual needs. The support that I and my fellow students received was fantastic whether that was in person with our tutor, via telephone or email. All queries were answered quickly and I would definitely recommend the University of Wolverhampton to anyone wishing to undertake the Return to Practice Course."

Julie, Return to Nursing Practice graduate

Some of our frequently asked questions about the course are contained in this short video:

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01902 32 22 22



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