Medacs Healthcare

SEP 24/2014

Free return-to-practice courses to be offered for former nurses

NHS nursing recruitment efforts are to be bolstered by the introduction of a new campaign that will allow former nurses to attend return-to-practice courses free of charge.

A report from the Nursing Times has revealed that Health Education England will soon be introducing an initiative called Come Back to Nursing, which aims to encourage nursing professionals who are no longer in regular work to return to the profession.

As part of this, the organisation has agreed to waive the fee for return-to-practice courses, as was the case in the past. In recent years, the level of support had wavered, with returning nurses sometimes offered bursaries but often having to fund the training themselves.

In addition to this, efforts are being made to improve the standard of RTP courses, eliminating some of the inconsistencies in terms of quality and availability across the country by standardising basic content and ensuring that every Local Education and Training Board region offers them.

Finally, the campaign will also see course participants offered money for expenses and potential job placements in order to further encourage them to get involved. It is hoped that through these efforts, it will be possible to attract capable, qualified staff back to the sector and address key nursing skills shortages in several areas.

Professor Janice Stevens, managing director of Health Education West Midlands, said: "This is for those who want a job and not just people who fancy getting their registration back.

"We want a safe pair of hands available to work in care, so we're paying the course fee and also offering a bursary of around £500 to help people with costs like travel."

The Come Back to Nursing campaign will also be supported by the Royal College of Nursing and NHS Employers when it is formally launched on September 29th.

Safe staffing is currently a more important priority for hospitals than ever, with new laws having recently come into effect to ensure that medical facilities always have enough manpower to meet the needs of patients.

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