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The NHS needs you: 54,000 letters sent to former registrants

Health Education England’s Come Back campaign outlines incentives and says there has ‘never been a better time’ to return to practice
Return to practice

Letters have been sent to tens of thousands of former practising nurses in England urging them to return to the profession.

NHS training and education body Health Education England (HEE) has revealed it sent letters to almost 54,000 former registrants on 5 September, as part of an ongoing drive to encourage experienced staff back into practice.

The Come Back campaign, launched by HEE in 2014 to address a shortage of nurses, has so far helped more than 2,000 people with a lapsed registration to make a return.

Never been a better time

Now letters have been sent to 53,749 former registrants, asking them to consider enrolling in one of 40 return to practice courses around the country and saying there has never been a better time to come back

Letters have been sent to tens of thousands of former practising nurses in England urging them to return to the profession.


Return to practice courses can be completed in as little as 3 months. Photo: iStock

NHS training and education body Health Education England (HEE) has revealed it sent letters to almost 54,000 former registrants on 5 September, as part of an ongoing drive to encourage experienced staff back into practice.

The Come Back campaign, launched by HEE in 2014 to address a shortage of nurses, has so far helped more than 2,000 people with a lapsed registration to make a return.

‘Never been a better time’

Now letters have been sent to 53,749 former registrants, asking them to consider enrolling in one of 40 return to practice courses around the country and saying there has ‘never been a better time’ to come back to nursing.

Return to practice courses can be completed in as little as 3 months, costing HEE about £2,000 per candidate.

This compares with an estimated £50,000 to train a nurse from scratch on a 3-year undergraduate nursing course.

Support and guidance

‘HEE hope to recruit your valued experience, life skills and expertise back into the nursing workforce,’ the letter states. ‘With all the available support and guidance for returners, there has never been a better time to come back to nursing.’

The return to practice programme is a combination of classroom and placement-based learning, with study periods and a minimum of 75 hours clinical practice taking place over about 3 months.

During this time, returners build up a portfolio that they then send to the Nursing and Midwifery Council to re-register.

Incentives

The letter outlines the incentives to join the programme, which include:

  • HEE pays the returner’s course fees.
  • HEE pays placement fees to the hospital or organisation that hosts their clinical hours placement.
  • A one-off payment from HEE to help towards the returner’s costs, such as travel, childcare and book expenses.

Among the trusts actively trying to recruit former nurses is North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust this week launched a campaign encouraging nurses to return to practice, pledging to offer placements to those who enrol on a return to practice course at the nearby University of Cumbria.

Updating practice

Executive director of nursing and midwifery Maurya Cushlow said: ‘Some may feel that a lot has changed since they last wore the uniform, but it soon comes flooding back and the course is designed to update nurses with the latest techniques and advances in care.

‘I would like to encourage anyone who receives their letter to consider this excellent opportunity.’

HEE director of nursing Lisa Bayliss-Pratt said: ‘Our recruitment campaign continues and we are looking forward to bringing back more nurses to complement our existing workforce, ensuring that we provide staff for both today and tomorrow.’


Further information

Come Back programme

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