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Return to Nursing Practice

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This course is designed to enable Adult, Mental Health and Children & Young People’s nurses to re-enter registered practice with up-to-date competencies and with the current skills and confidence to maintain safe and effective standards of patient care.

If you successfully complete this course, you will gain re-registration with the NMC.

The Standardised Numeracy Assessment Project​ (SN@P) is a standardised numeracy assessment resource developed for use across several healthcare sectors. Prospective students considering a Return to  Nursing Practice at BU are advised to undertake this SN@P numeracy testing tool to test and improve their existing skills. In order to use SN@P, students will need to complete a short registration form on the SN@P website.

Download the information pack (PDF 178Kb).

Key information

Next start date:

16 March 2021


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


Eight days plus a minimum of 150 hours in a clinical placement


Nursing & Midwifery Council

Entry requirements:

  • Previous registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (now lapsed) for adult, mental health or children and young people’s nursing
  • Completion of both an Occupational Health assessment and clearance, and completion of Disclosure and Barring Service requirements.
  • The applicant must be able to demonstrate that they meet the NMC entry criteria for return to practice programmes (2019)
  • Satisfy through application/selection process (including tripartite interview for shortlisted candidates), suitability for their intended field of nursing practice and values and behaviours in accordance with the NMC (2018) Code.

International entry requirements:

Evidence of English Language ability that meet NMC English language requirements (see below):

  • You have recently achieved the required score in one of the English language tests accepted by the NMC
  • A pre-registration nurse or midwife which was taught and examined in English.
  • Recent practice of at least one year in a majority English speaking country.

Accredited by:

Course details

Watch Health Education England's video about returning to nursing.

The course requires eight days of attendance at the university plus a minimum of 150 clinical hours, over a minimum of 16 weeks/maximum of 46 weeks depending on your experience and time away from nursing.

This course has been approved and validated by the NMC and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded 20 academic credits (at Level 6 degree) and you will also gain re-registration with the NMC. It is suitable for First and Second Level Nurses (Registered and Enrolled) and covers Adult (General), Child and Mental Health fields.

This course is suitable for:

  • Nurses who no longer have 'live' registration with the NMC and wish to re-enter the profession
  • Adult (general), Child Health and Mental Health parts of the register
  • First and second level nurses (i.e. RN and EN)
  • Those who have already secured a clinical placement in a health care setting

Download the programme specification (Pdf 382Kb)

Download the information pack (Pdf 178Kb).

Next start date:

March 2021 intake: 16, 23, 30 March 2021, 13, 27 April, 11, 25 May, 8 June 2021.

Each study day is from 9.00am – 4.00pm at Bournemouth University’s Lansdowne campus.

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for nurses who no longer have live UK registration with the NMC and wish to re-enter the profession. It is suitable for Adult (general), Child Health and Mental Heath parts of the register and is open to first and second level nurses (RN and EN).

International applicants without a UK registration from the NMC are not eligible for this course. 

Clinical placement

Prior to applying for the course you must secure a clinical placement in a health care setting – either in an acute or community trust or in the private sector. This placement must start by the first study day at the University and must be for the duration of the course. Clinical placements are normally within Dorset or the New Forest area. You apply to the Trust of your choice initially. Adverts are normally placed on NHS Jobs. Twice a year. You can also contact the Trust’s Practice Educators directly. This clinical experience may be gained as part of employed work or by working as an honorary member of the staff and must be for a minimum of 150 hours. The number of hours required on the course will not exceed 450hrs and are decided on an individual basis. So you must ensure that any ‘contract’ allows you to continue until you have completed the practice outcomes of the course.

During your clinical time you will work in a role equivalent to that of a 3rd year pre-registration student. Clinical hours can be undertaken either full or part time and negotiation with the placement provider as to how these hours are completed. This needs to be organised prior to commencing the placement.

Clinical placement requirements

All clinical placements (NHS and Private sector) need to appreciate that you are not pre-registration students and therefore they need to provide you with:

  • Honorary contract (at minimum)
  • DBS screening and Occupational Health screening
  • Induction to include moving and handling, Basic Life Support, child protection (if appropriate) and POVA training before placement commencement (placement should start when university course starts)
  • A uniform and name badge
  • A Practice Assessor on the same part of the register to which you are returning.

If private hospitals are unsure about any of the above, please encourage them to contact us at

Clinical placement contact details:

If you are interested in gaining a clinical placement in an NHS Trust please email (only) the following relevant Education Leaders (not individual clinical areas, including a summary of your recent working history, and stating the clinical area in which you are seeking a placement):


Hampshire area - Southern Health

Salisbury area

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

If you wish to undertake your clinical placement in the private sector, you will need to contact them directly. Please ensure that the placement has an NMC educational audit to take pre-registration students and that a sign-off mentor is available. Please also make them aware of their responsibilities below.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the writing component and minimum 7.0 in the reading, listening and speaking components.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.

Fees and funding

Please contact the admissions team on 

How to apply

When you have been successfully interviewed in the tripartite interview with representatives from the Trust and the University, you complete the Bournemouth University application form. Some NHS Trusts who offer placements for this course require you to apply to them via NHS Jobs. Please check for details before contacting the Trust direct.

Please note, how you submit your application form will depend on whether you are working for the NHS or in the private sector (see below):

  • If you are undertaking clinical placement within the NHS, your Educational Lead will forward your completed application form to the university
  • If you are undertaking placement in the private sector, please forward your form personally to the admissions department.

Your application form cannot be processed unless it has your learning agreement (within application form) signed by your placement provider – unfortunately until this has been done we cannot reserve a place for you.

Download the information pack and application form, or contact the Admissions Office:

Career development

We have a range of individual units at Levels 5, 6 and 7 available which you can choose from to develop your skills in a specific area of practice. If you take further units of study you can begin to build your own qualification and gain an academic award for your work, depending on your level of study this may be:

  • BSc/ BSc (Hons) Professional Practice (level 5/6)
    If you have a Diploma or Advanced Diploma you can take this course to top-up to a full degree
  • MA Advanced Practice (level 7)
    If you have an honours degree and are aspiring to be an advanced practitioner, this route enables you to work towards a Master's degree award. Depending on how many level 7 units you complete, you can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice.

These options provide a flexible route to gaining a bachelor’s or Master’s degree by studying in more manageable ‘bite-sized’ chunks.

Additional information

Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

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Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.