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Unit Overview

This unit is designed to meet current NMC requirements for a Return to Practice Nursing programme (NMC 2011), and in addition is relevant for nurses who are currently on the register but require the course to develop competence or confidence to practice (for example, service managers returning to practice).

It is relevant for a first level nurse returning to part one of the professional register. Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (who have current or lapsed registration on part one of the register) can undertake the practice requirements in their lapsed field of public health nursing. Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (who have current NMC registration as a midwife on part two of the register only) can undertake the practice requirements in their lapsed field of public health nursing to enable them to meet the PREP requirements for this. It is not approved for midwives wishing to return to part two, or part two and three, of the register.

You can find out more about the Return to Practice course in the Applicant Information Pack (in related documents below).

Employer led routes into RTP are available, see NHS Jobs for details. 

What you will study

The nature and length of the unit will be determined by the University and student in a diagnostic assessment, but will not be less than 5 days in length (NMC 2011). This assessment will take into account the registration history, previous levels of knowledge and experience, and any relevant experience undertaken whilst the student has been out of practice.

The curriculum includes:

-Current health and social care policy in relation to contemporary health care practice

-Professional issues and educational standards in nursing

-Legislation, guidelines and codes of practice

-The structure and organisation of healthcare both locally and nationally

-Contemporary issues impacting on nursing and healthcare practice

-Evidence based practice

-Emergency care

-Multi-agency collaborative working


-Teaching and learning skills

-Self analysis and personal development planning

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to meet NMC (2016) return to practice learning outcomes related to their area of practice. On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate contemporary literature and apply knowledge gained to fulfil their professional role with relevant client groups
  • Critically analyse the influences impacting on the organisation and delivery of health care, including key legislation, health and social policy
  • Critically review the assessment, design, implementation and evaluation of practice in relevant areas
  • Demonstrate competent professional practice and the ability to return to practice safely 


Minimum of 5 months

Entry requirements

The unit must be completed within 2 years of initial registration.


This course is assessed in two ways and both parts must be passed:

  1. A written assignment/portfolio of evidence of 3375 words that demonstrates competency to return to practice. This assessment must meet the level 6 academic standard and the course learning outcomes.
  2. Students must satisfy their sign-off mentor or practice teacher that they are safe and competent to return to practice. This will be assessed through the practice assessment document.

Visit the Return to Practice Nursing - NMC Approved page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!




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Recipient: Manchester Metropolitan University

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