Return to nursing

Nurse with male patientReturn to practice (RTP) courses may suit you, if:

  • you are a registered nurse – adult or child branch
  • you have been out of practice for a while
  • your Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration has lapsed
  • you want to return to nursing and use your skills
  • you need support to get back in to nursing practice

We'll support you every step of the way

We have supported many nurses through the RTP programme, which we run in partnership with the University of Southampton. We try to offer placements according to your previous nursing experience, although this cannot always be guaranteed and will depend on service needs.

A return to practice job advert is usually placed on in early autumn. You will need to apply through this route to be considered for this opportunity.

The course runs for 20 weeks. During this time you will be expected to complete 150 clinical hours and commit to attending the 16 study mornings. These will be held at the university campus. All candidates must complete 80 hours of self-directed study over the 20 weeks.

We expect all candidates to be able to work 15 fully flexible hours per week, over a 2 day period, which will include covering all shifts. You will be allocated a sign off mentor, who will support you clinically to regain your competencies.

You will be expected to self-fund the course fees set by the University of Southampton, and will be employed within the trust on an honorary contract. We cannot guarantee a post on completion; however, there are normally plenty of opportunities available.

Further information and advice

For more course details, see the University of Southampton’s Return to Practice programme.

Read the Nursing and Midwifery Council's pages on Returning to the register to find out more about what a typical return to practice course involves and who might be eligible to undertake it.

For further information on the next RTP programme please email