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

Through Health Education Wessex, funding is now available for course fees for adult and child nurses. You will be eligible for £500 financial support towards travel, childcare and book costs. If you are a child branch nurse, you will be expected to self-fund the course fees set by the University of Southampton.

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 and on the UHS jobs site. You will need to apply through this route to be considered for this opportunity.

Courses are run twice a year in March and October, and are advertised in late summer and early autumn. The course runs for 20 weeks. During this time you will be expected to complete a minimum of 150 clinical hours and commit to attending the 16 study days (usually 9.30am to 2.30pm on Wednesdays). These will be held at the University of Southampton 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 two day period, which will include covering all shifts. This will enable you to embrace the full experience of returning to a busy NHS trust.

You will be allocated a sign off mentor, and have access to education teams and a dedicated return to practice facilitator who will support you to return to the NMC register. You will be employed within the trust on an honorary contract, and 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