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Northumbria’s 11 unique opportunities to return to nursing

Wednesday, 06 July, 2016
Northumbria’s 11 unique opportunities to return to nursing

People keen to return to nursing are being given a unique opportunity by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust has partnered with Northumbria University and Health Education England to offer nurses with lapsed Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registrations to complete its return to practice programme.

The trust, which was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, has successfully recruited nine people for its return to practice course starting in September however still has 11 spaces remaining.

People are encouraged to apply by the 17 July deadline at

The programme involves nurses completing academic work and between 100 and 450 hours of clinical practice, depending on their time spent away from nursing.

While completing the programme, the nurses will be employed by the trust on a training post, work 16 hours a week in a nurse placement role in a clinical area relevant to their previous experience and will also spend one day a week at university.

The nurses will have guaranteed employment with the trust when they have completed and gained NMC registration, with opportunities at a variety of acute and community settings in Northumberland and North Tyneside, including the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, North Tyneside, Wansbeck and Hexham general hospitals and all community hospitals in Northumberland. They will also benefit from on-going training and professional support.

Debbie Reape, interim director of nursing at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We got a great response to our initial advert for our return to practice posts and are delighted to have nine people starting our bespoke programme in September, and joining our trust when they’ve completed.

“This is an excellent opportunity for people to get back into the nursing profession. We will give them all the support they need, and a salary whist training, and we would encourage anyone who wants to rekindle their nursing career to apply for our posts.

“At Northumbria, we greatly value our nurses and are one of the best trusts in the country. This is yet another example of our trust devising our own solutions to fit our needs and benefit our patients.”

All successful applicants will be provided with a mentor/practice teacher to support them in their new journey back into nursing.

To apply for the roles, visit For more information contact Gillian Bell on 07789 173782 or Cath O’Kane on 07826 908958.

The return to practice opportunities come just a few months after the trust, working with Northumbria University, launched an innovative programme to train people with healthcare experience to become nurses. It’s part of the trust’s commitment to growing its own workforce in the wake of recruitment challenges facing the whole of the NHS.

Claire urges others to return to nursing

Claire Nixon who recently completed the return to practice programme at Northumbria University has urged people to apply for the posts.

Claire, 49, now works as a staff nurse on the surgical assessment unit at The Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington. She was a nurse for 23 years before having a career change and running her own café in Morpeth.

Seven years later when her youngest child went to university, she decided to return to nursing, having missed the day-to-day contact with patients and colleagues.

During her programme she did a placement with the trust at The Northumbria hospital and jumped at the chance to apply for a role after meeting senior staff and matrons at an open day last November.

She has this advice for people thinking about returning to nursing.

“Don’t hesitate, just do it,” said Claire.

“Whilst the course was challenging, help was available at all times. I have been fully supported and my transition back into nursing has been very straightforward. I’m very pleased to be working here and really happy to be back nursing.

“I was very impressed with how approachable the Northumbria senior staff and matrons were at the open day and after joining the team, I feel Northumbria is a great place to work. I love my new job and definitely did the right thing in coming back to nursing.”