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Retired nurses with lapsed registrations targeted for return to the profession

University’s return to practice course seeks to boost local NHS workforce, as government introduces NHS Reserves programme
Picture shows older woman in medic's uniform looking at computer screen

University’s return to practice course seeks to boost local NHS workforce, as government introduces NHS Reserves programme

Coventry University has launched a new course to help retired nurses return to practice, in a bid to address workforce shortages in the NHS.

The return to practice course begins in May 2022 and offers nurses whose registration has lapsed after a break in practice of three years or more the opportunity to return to nursing. Course leader for nursing Janet Wilson, who returned to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, said: ‘We see this as an opportunity to help people return and in turn boost the local NHS workforce.’

NHS Reserves programme also seeks to

University’s return to practice course seeks to boost local NHS workforce, as government introduces NHS Reserves programme

Picture shows older woman in medic's uniform looking at computer screen
Picture: iStock

Coventry University has launched a new course to help retired nurses return to practice, in a bid to address workforce shortages in the NHS.

The return to practice course begins in May 2022 and offers nurses whose registration has lapsed after a break in practice of three years or more the opportunity to return to nursing. Course leader for nursing Janet Wilson, who returned to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, said: ‘We see this as an opportunity to help people return and in turn boost the local NHS workforce.’

NHS Reserves programme also seeks to recruit retired healthcare professionals

It comes as the government announced the NHS Reserves programme, intended to enable hospitals to call on skilled staff, including retired nurses, at times of high demand. Further details of the programme are yet to be confirmed.

The NHS Reserves programme is a national extension of a scheme piloted at the start of the pandemic to encourage retired healthcare professionals to support the NHS during COVID-19.

Nurses have described the NHS Reserves programme as short-sighted and called for better pay to attract more people to the profession, including a return of bursaries for nursing students. Writing on Nursing Standard’s Facebook page, one nurse said: ‘Nurses are counting the days till retirement, why should they come back to plug the gaps?’

Another said: ‘What happens when their registration lapses? Many are looking forward to retirement. Goodwill is not a sustainable business plan, it is running very low.’

One nurse said she would never return to the profession: ‘There’s no way in this lifetime that I will ever return to nursing. I took early retirement after 41 years and I’m not coming back.’

Nurses prepared to strike over pay offer

RCN members in England and Wales have said they are prepared to strike over the government’s 3% pay offer. In Scotland a majority of nurses have also said they are willing to strike over a 4% pay offer.

The RCN has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay rise. A formal announcement on pay is yet to be made in Northern Ireland, but it is expected nurses will be offered a 3% rise.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.


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Coventry University: Return to Nursing Practice course


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