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Return to Practice

Nursing/Nursing Associate

Is nursing still in your heart? Come back to the career your love. Our Return to Practice Nursing course provides an opportunity to return to the Professional Register.

Why study with us

  • You'll have a dedicated personal tutor who will provide pastoral support. You'll also have practice supervisors and assessors who'll work with you during your clinical practice. A relevant academic assessor will oversee your progress and your practice assessment document.
  • Our School has significant experience in the provision of Health Education England contracted Return to Practice programmes. This course adheres to the NMC Standards for Return to Practice (NMC, 2019), Standards Framework for Nursing Education (NMC 2018) and Standards for Nursing Associates (2018).
  • On this bespoke cpd course for nurses your prior nursing experience is valued.

Course overview

The Return to Practice (Nursing/ Nursing Associate) module has an associated 200 hours of learning. It's a 12-week taught programme with a mix of 12 theoretical study/skills days and between 150 – 450 hours spent in clinical practice. You'll be expected to engage with a minimum of 22.5 hours of clinical learning per week in practice.

Module code: Level 6 Nursing (NU3600), Level 5 Nursing Associate (NU2600)
Campus and online
Study Mode: Part-time. Study day is one day a week for 12 weeks; clinical placement is a minimum of 22.5 hours per week up to full-time (37.5 hours) dependent on your availability.
Duration: Assessment criteria within 12 months of commencing the programme.
Campus: Preston
Start Date: September or March

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Nursing expertise

Angela Irving
Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery

Angela started her career at UCLan in 1998, qualifying with her Nursing Diploma in 2001, progressing to work at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Angela Irving is now a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing (Adult) whose role involves teaching pre-registration nursing stude...

Return to your nursing career

This CPD nursing course makes you eligible to renew your registration with the NMC. So you can return to nursing as a registered nurse or nursing associate.

Whilst it does not guarantee employment most returnees have been successful in gaining a job after completion.

You'll receive advice and guidance on preparing a CV and portfolio of evidence, applying for jobs, and preparing for interviews. 

In this short NHS video returners discuss their journey back to nursing. 

Got a question about returning to nursing?

Following a career break, there are lots of options for you to return to nursing. Refresh your skills and knowledge so you can confidently return to the nursing workforce.

Before returning, you’ll need to re-join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

Depending on the time you have spent out of nursing, you can either reapply or complete a return to nursing course such as this one.

If you’ve completed 450 hours of registered practice in the past three years. Or 750 hours in the past five years, then you can reapply to join the NMC register. You’ll also need to have completed 35 hours of continuing professional development in the last three years.

Otherwise, you’ll need to complete an NMC-approved return to nursing practice course, like this one. Alternatively, you can complete a test of competence through the NMC.

At UCLan, the theoretical element of the return to nursing practice course is 12 weeks long. You'll also need to complete between 150 – 450 hours of clinical practice. Clinical hours are assessed following a successful interview using a diagnostic assessment tool.

If your nursing registration has lapsed within six months of its’ revalidation date you’ll need to check your options on the NMC website. In some cases, you can apply for readmission.


This course is based in the School of Nursing and Midwifery

For information on possible changes to course information, see our essential and important course information

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at the University of Central Lancashire on our student contract page