Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence (Nursing)

40 credits Level 6


Former adult nurses are able to return to the nursing profession, by joining a six-month programme starting on Wednesday 17th September 2014 at the University of York.  The Return to Practice programme provides returners with a flexible approach to fit in with their family life and individual circumstances.

Programme Aims

  • To provide those who wish to return to practice and reactivate registration, or those who wish to maintain their competence, the opportunity to identify their knowledge and skills deficit and regain competence in both a simulated and actual practice setting.
  • To explore professional and contemporary issues relevant to effective and accountable nursing practice.

Applications for the 2014/15 have now closed. Details of the 2015/16 process will be announced later this year.


You will be expected to successfully complete a professional portfolio during practice experience in which you will demonstrate how you are meeting the relevant NMC competency framework.

In addition, you will be expected to sit an examination and you will also be asked to submit a reflective essay.

How will practice experience be arranged?

You will be expected to complete 200 hours’ clinical practice. Your practice experience area will be decided by agreement between yourself, the University and our NHS partners.


Who can apply for the programme?

To apply for the programme, you need to:

  • have previously qualified and have been registered to work as an adult nurse in the UK, or
  • have previously qualified and currently be on the NMC register as an adult nurse, but need to update your skills to return to a nursing role, or
  • have previously qualified in the EU and hold a letter from the NMC confirming your eligibility to undertake a Return to Practice (Nursing) course in adult nursing.

What are the entry criteria?

In addition to the above, you also need to:

  • live in the Yorkshire or Humber region upon starting the programme
  • hold at least a Diploma of Higher Education or equivalent qualification in Nursing
  • have some recent experience in a healthcare setting (paid or voluntary)
  • demonstrate English language competency to IELTS Level 7 or equivalent, if English is not your first language
  • undergo an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and an Occupational Health Assessment
  • pass the required numeracy and literacy tests.

How does the application process work?

Applications are open until 4th August 2014. All applications will be subject to shortlisting and interview. 

What happens when I am offered a place?

If you are successful in obtaining a place, you will be invited to an Introduction Day on Tuesday 9th September 2014 at the University of York. Following this, you will be enrolled as a student and will receive all relevant welcome materials from the University.

Credits and Cost

Academic Credits

Successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of 40 academic credit points at Level 6 by the University of York. These academic credit points can be used as a contribution towards further study for an honours degree or other award, subject to conditions.

If you are successful, you will have your NMC registration re-activated by the University where required, following confirmation of Good Health and Character.


If you are successful in your application, you will have your course fees paid in full by the NHS via Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber.

In addition, Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber will pay for an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and Occupational Health Assessment and will provide a student nurse uniform and identification badge.

Beyond this, there is no bursary available. You will be expected to cover your own travel costs to and from the University of York and your practice experience area.

Please visit


The Return to Practice (Nursing) course will run once a year.  The key dates for 2014/15 are as follows:

Induction day

  • Tuesday 9th September 2014.


The course will start with a five-day study workshop:

  • Wednesday 17th September 2014 to Sunday 21st September 2014

Following this seminar, you will start your practice experience.  You will be expected to complete 200 hours in an agreed practice area over a period of six months.  During this period, you will attend one seminar per month:

  • Wednesday 22nd October 2014
  • Wednesday 19th November 2014
  • Wednesday 17th December 2014
  • Wednesday 14th January 2015 - EXAM
  • Monday 19th January 2015
  • Wednesday 18th February 2015
  • Wednesday 18th March 2015.

The course will then conclude with a final session:

  • Wednesday 15th April 2015

For more information, contact the SSPRD team in the Student Information Service on 01904 321321 or email Download a copy of the Return to Practice (Nursing) (PDF  , 1,045kb) leaflet.