North London Partners in health and care

NCL Capital Nurse pilot sees increase in numbers of return to practice nurses

A North London Partners and CapitalNurse NCL pilot project aimed at increasing the number of people embarking on the Return to Practice (RTP) programme has achieved a threefold increase. 

From January to April 2019 27 former nurses embarked on the RTP programme compared to 2018 figures which saw 20 sign up during the bigger time period of May to December. 

Ten NCL organisations each put in place their own RTP Lead and an overall Bureau Lead post was created. Along with representatives from City, University of London and the University of Hertfordshire these RTP Leads sat on a dynamic steering group that met monthly. The sharing of experiences and ideas and collaborative working contributed to the success of the pilot.

Historically low numbers of return to practice nurses have been recruited on to courses or completed placements. The pilot project focused on why that was and worked to remove obstacles, provide much greater support for both returning nurses and team managers who host them and produced materials that explained the programme and the roles and responsibilities of each party. Crucially, the RTP Bureau Lead provided a central point for communication, interviewing and recruitment.

CapitalNurse NCL produced a Toolkit for returning nurses and employers that includes an agreed standard job description, terms and conditions, details of funding and salary rates, plus tips for all parties to help ensure success. In addition, RTP website copy was created for all the organisations to use if they wish, along with inspiring success story interviews that can be uploaded.

The project recognised that returning nurses have very different needs – some need a thorough refresh of skills; others less. All though can bring enhanced life skills that hugely benefit the teams they join. 

The project received further HEE funding in June 2019 to continue its work until March 2020. The aim is to consolidate the collaborative RTP approach, fully embed the Bureau and embark on an innovative International Recruitment (IR) project.

For the IR element, the Bureau will deliver development training for international staff who are qualified nurses in their own country but who have yet to meet the requirements needed to convert their non-UK nursing qualifications to become NMC-registered. If you know staff in NLP that fit this bill please encourage them to get in touch with us. Email for further information