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Former nurses offered £1,000 incentive to return to practice in England

But the RCN calls for urgent action to address why so many nurses leave the profession
Return to practice nurse

But the RCN calls for urgent action to address why so many nurses leave the profession

Former nurses in England are being offered a £1,000 incentive to tempt them back onto the register.

Training body Health Education England (HEE) has doubled the previous £500 funding to help cover expenses such as childcare, books and travel costs for people enrolling on return to practice courses.

Imbalance between returning staff and nursing vacancies

It is hoped the move will encourage more people to sign up for the courses, which have supported 8,000 nurses to re-join the Nursing and Midwifery Council register since 2014.

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But the RCN calls for urgent action to address why so many nurses leave the profession

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Former nurses in England are being offered a £1,000 incentive to tempt them back onto the register.

Training body Health Education England (HEE) has doubled the previous £500 funding to help cover expenses such as childcare, books and travel costs for people enrolling on return to practice courses.

Imbalance between returning staff and nursing vacancies

It is hoped the move will encourage more people to sign up for the courses, which have supported 8,000 nurses to re-join the Nursing and Midwifery Council register since 2014.

But the RCN warned that the staff who have re-joined won’t be enough to plug the workforce gap in England, which stands at nearly 40,000 nursing vacancies.

Returners’ programme recaptures ‘valuable expertise’

HEE chief nurse Mark Radford said: ‘Returners bring back valuable expertise to the professions and we want to enable them to complete the NMC requirements, return to the register and into roles within our clinical services.’

A total of 25 universities in England offer return to practice nursing and midwifery courses, where course fees are paid by HEE, and returners can attend courses and undertake clinical practice learning on a flexible or part-time basis.

The return to practice programme also includes enhanced offers for returners to mental health, learning disability and cancer nursing, where returners can be offered a salaried role while they complete their training.

Patricia Marquis

Long-term workforce plan is needed, says RCN

RCN England director Patricia Marquis said a fully funded, long-term workforce strategy was required, which would ensure there were enough nurses with the right skills.

‘Incentives like this one [from HEE] could coax some nursing staff back to the profession they miss, but reactionary policies won’t provide a nursing workforce fit for tomorrow,’ she added.

‘Many staff leave our profession because they feel undervalued by poor pay and conditions. Addressing why so many staff leave is essential to convincing experienced colleagues back.’


Further information

HEE: The return to nursing practice programme


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