A Guide to Return to Practice

Nursing Clinical Simulation Centre

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Return to Practice course (RTP). If you have any other questions, please attend the next Open Evening when you will have an opportunity to meet the RTP course leader or contact us.

What are the entry requirements for the Return to Practice course?

You will need to provide evidence of lapsed registration of between three to 15 years. This is in the form of an
NMC Statement of Entry which you can get from the NMC. You will need to quote your NMC PIN and the name you were originally registered under.

Are there course fees?

There are no course fees. A bursary of £1,000 will be available to each nursing and SCPHN student, with £1,500 available for midwives. This amount should be paid to the student in three equal instalments by the education provider. Payments are usually made at the beginning, the middle and following completion of the course.
Assistance with childcare costs
Returners can apply for means-tested assistance with childcare costs incurred whilst attending clinical placements and refresher training. Payments will only be made on production of relevant receipts from registered childcare services.

Payments will be managed by the NHS Wales Student Awards Services. The childcare allowance is means-tested and is based on 85% of the actual registered or approved childcare costs up to a maximum amount.

Application for assistance with childcare costs, for returners who have secured NHS Wales funding, should be made directly by emailing the student awards service at abm.sas@wales.nhs.uk with the following information:

  • Institution studying at
  • Start date of course
  • Home address
  • Contact telephone number

Student Awards Services will manage the process and liaise directly with the returner. Returners will be required to apply for childcare costs before the commencement of their course as childcare allowance cannot be claimed in arrears.

If you have any queries or need further explanation then please contact your Programme Lead, or email ETFinance.heiw@wales.nhs.uk or HEIW.EdCommissioning@wales.nhs.uk.

How do I apply?

You apply as a direct applicant via the University website. You will need to write a 400-500 word personal statement which outlines why you want to return to practice, and your plans for when you complete the course. You will also need to provide a reference – this can be an employer or character reference; evidence of current DBS via update service and a successful occupational health screen.

Will I get a degree?

No, the RTP is a degree-level module, not a degree. 
Students can gain a non-honours BSc Professional Practice (Health Care Studies) degree, by completing the research module and enrolling on the award. They need a further 60 credits (including a practice project) to gain the honours degree. 

Can I continue working?

Yes – the clinical hours equate to approximately 10 hours per week, following completion of the theory sessions. Times and shift patterns can be agreed with mentor in clinical practice, although you are required to get a full 24-hour experience of the clinical placement.

When will I be in university? 
Theory days are every Thursday between 10am – 3pm on the
Glyntaff Campus. The theory days are designed to bring you up to date with what’s happening in the nursing profession. 

How difficult is the course?

The RTP course is delivered at Level 6, which is equivalent to the third year of an undergraduate degree. For those who are returning to study after a long break or are nervous about the academic demands of the course, there is plenty of study skills support.

If I am currently working in a clinical area, can I undertake the Clinical Learning Outcomes in this area, rather than a new clinical placement?
It depends on the clinical area. The clinical area needs to be suitable and have opportunities to achieve all of the Clinical Learning Outcomes. You can discuss this with us at the Open Evening.

When will I be back on the NMC register?

For the March intake, the earliest date will be December/January. For September intake, the earliest date will be July/August.

Is there a certain amount of work experience you expect from an applicant, particularly if they are not working in a care field at the moment?

This needs to be assessed on an individual basis as it depends on your current role and previous experience. You can discuss this with us at an Open Evening.

More information
You can speak to Alex Holmes, the course leader, at the next Open Evening or contact her at alex.holmes@southwales.ac.uk - 01443 483886.