Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence (Nursing)

40 credits Level 6


Former adult and mental health nurses are able to return to the nursing profession by joining a six-month programme. The programme starts with a compulsory induction day on Monday 13 July, followed by a five day study workshop starting on Wednesday 9 September 2015 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 2015/16 course have now closed.

For more information on Health Education England's Come Back to Nursing campaign visit


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 or mental health nurse in the UK, or
  • have previously qualified and currently be on the NMC register as an adult or mental health 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 or mental health 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 for the 2015/16 course have now closed.

What happens when I am offered a place?

If you are successful in obtaining a place, you will be invited to an Induction Day on Monday 13th July 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 a small 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.  Please contact us to find out when the next course will start.

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  , 2,980kb) leaflet.