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Return to nursing with Northumbria

Wednesday, 05 July, 2017
Return to nursing with Northumbria

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is offering people who have qualified as nurses however their professional registrations have lapsed an opportunity to return to nursing.

The trust, widely recognised as one of the best performing in the country, has partnered with Northumbria University and Health Education England to offer 20 nurses with lapsed Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registrations to complete its return to practice programme starting in September.

The programme involves nurses completing academic work and between 120 and 450 hours of clinical practice, depending on their time away from nursing.

While completing the programme, the nurses will be employed by the trust on a training post, work 15 to 22.5 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 be guaranteed an interview for a nursing post in the trust when they have completed and gained NMC registration, with opportunities in all nursing specialities including working at The Northumbria hospital, general and community hospitals and in the community across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Nurses will have a mentor/practice teacher and benefit from on-going training and professional support.

To apply, visit The closing date is Monday 10 July.

‘Nurse at heart’ Michelle Crawford was one of 20 nurses who completed Northumbria’s return to practice programme last year. She now works on the medical day case unit at North Tyneside General Hospital caring for patients who require planned treatment such as drug infusions.

Michelle, 51, trained as a nurse in the mid-1980s and after qualifying in 1988, she started working in renal medicine.

After having four children, she found that full-time work and shifts did not fit in with her busy family life and she became an agency nurse.

And after having her fifth child and finding herself a single parent, her career took a different path and she stepped into the world of education, becoming an education welfare officer and a behaviour advisor, for 15 years.

After being made redundant and a lot of reflection, she decided to return to nursing.

Michelle, from South Gosforth, said: “Despite the passing years, in 2016 I decided to take the plunge and return to nursing as I felt I was always a nurse at heart. I felt that I still had something to offer the profession and in some way, become a better me.

“What I mean is, life hadn’t been easy but the bumps along the way taught me so much about what it is to be human and what really matters which, to me, is relationships. So when the opportunity came along to do the return to practice course, I felt drawn to it, just like I had been at the beginning.

“The main hurdle for me was my own self-belief and overcoming fears from old. The academic side is tough but the support you get is amazing and if you are passionate about coming back to nursing then you will overcome any hurdles.

“I feel so deeply proud to be part of the NHS and nursing profession once more.”

Elaine Henderson, interim deputy director of nursing at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Our return to practice programme is about opening the door back to nursing for people who have qualified as nurses but have spent time away from the profession and their registrations with the Nursing and Midwifery Council have lapsed.

“This can be for many reasons however a common one is to bring up a family – just as Michelle did – and, for some, the time could be right for them to come back.

“These nurses have valuable skills and experience and have much to offer our patients and we’re committed to giving them as much help as we can to support their journey back to nursing.

“Our nurses who returned to practice last year have been a fantastic asset to our team and are helping us deliver compassionate care to our patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

“We’d encourage anyone who’s previously trained as a nurse to get in touch to find out more about returning to the profession and benefit from our excellent nurse training and strong nurse mentorship.”

The return to practice opportunities are part of the trust’s commitment to growing its own workforce in the wake of recruitment challenges facing the whole of the NHS.

For more information contact Gillian Hall, practice placement facilitator, Tuesday to Thursday between 8.30am and 5pm on 07825 845285 or email Alternatively contact Emma Dawes, chief matron for nursing and midwifery education programmes, on 07767 256163 or email