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Continuing professional education

Return to practice for nurses
20 credits - level 5 or 6

This module takes cognisance of the complex and rapidly changing environment in which nurses find themselves. The module prepares nurses returning to practice to meet those changes by attending the university for one day per week for 12 weeks. The module is practice-centred with sound theoretical knowledge underpinning and informing practice and responding to current and future needs of nurses and has been approved by the NMC.

All returnees will be required to do a minimum of 100 hours in a clinical placement where they will be re-orientated, and gain opportunities to practice their skills and be assessed by a sign-off mentor, who will support them through the clinical aspect of the programme to achieve competence. The hours in practice will run concurrently with the module.

Therefore the module will enable practitioners to be eligible to renew their registration and re-enter registered practice with up-to-date competence, current skills and confidence in order to maintain safe and effective standards of patient and client care, as well as establishing the concept for life-long learning.

The module is offered in January, May and September.

Entry requirements

The module is for those nurses who have qualified as a nurse in the United Kingdom and to have previously registered with the NMC and have done less than 450 hours of practice in the last three years, and for those nurses from the European Union who have their qualification accepted by the NMC with a decision letter from the NMC with a requirement to do a Return to Practice module.

All returnees will be subject to an interview, numeracy and literacy test, Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) and Occupational Health check and 2 satisfactory references.

If the nurse has not studied within the last five years to the appropriate academic level, it is recommended they complete relevant study skills.

The module will be assessed in both theory and practice; nurses will successfully complete 12 skills in practice and a portfolio of evidence which reflects the achievement of the NMC PREP outcomes at the required academic level.

Professional accreditation

The module provides 20 credits at level 5 or 20 credits at level 6. These credits may be put towards the BSc in Professional Practice, thus motivating nurses in ongoing learning and research towards personal and professional development.

Subject areas

There will be a variety of subjects covered with a focus on changes in health care including the use of IT. Sessions will be in the classroom setting with a student-centred approach to learning and where the environment will encourage discussion and reflection and integration of theory and practice.

Study pattern

The clinical placement will be according to the area of practice in which the nurse returns. The University of Brighton offers adult, mental health, child, and learning disability nursing. The NMC (2010) issued guidance on renewing of the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse registration (SCPHN) where they, the SCPHN needs to return to part 1 of the register under the pathway they originally qualified.

This module is unique in its delivery because although the module is generic to the returning nurse, there are two days which are practice-specific, i.e. the focus is on your area of interest in returning to practice and a variety of experiences can be negotiated to suit your personal development.

Career opportunities

On successful completion of the Return to Practice module, the nurse will be eligible to receive their registration to practice from the NMC. Whilst this does not guarantee a registered nurse position (unless the nurse has been funded by a Trust, PCT or independent provider), most previous returnees have been successful in gaining employment very soon after the module has been completed.


For further information please contact the University of Brighton module leader or module administrator:

Alison Lane
Module Leader
University of Brighton in Hastings
Room 602, Level 6
Havelock Road
East Sussex
TN34 1BE

01273 641169 (please leave a message or contact administrator below)

Sam Taylor
Module Administrator
School of Health Sciences
Westlain House
Village Way
Falmer, Brighton

01273 644069