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Do you have any questions about returning to nursing? NHS experts have answered questions

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-19 11:28:23

Answers are now back - you can find them on this page.

Becoming a parent is one of the most fulfilling jobs that most will ever encounter; it is an amazing time for all. It can also mean that parents may seek a new career path after their parental leave or decide they'd prefer to go back to what they were doing before. If you've been a nurse in the past and would like to get back into it, the NHS would love to answer any questions you may have. Raych is a returnee nurse and Joy is from Health Education England. They can answer your questions about training and support.

Here is what the NHS has to say: “Your nursing skills and experience are needed more than ever before. There has never been a better time to return to nursing and it is easier than you might think. We have fully funded return to practice courses across England; your course will be paid for, and you'll receive at least £500 to help with travel, childcare and book costs. Mentors and tutors will be available throughout your course to build your confidence and get you ready to come back. The length of your course will depend on how long you've been out of practice but wont take longer than 12 months.”

Here is some more information on Raych: Raych qualified as a nurse in 1996 and worked at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, then moved overseas and began a family. She left the profession in 2010 to focus on juggling her family's busy commitments. As her circumstances gradually changed she investigated a return to nursing, then last July, everything came together and she was able to do the Return to Practice course whilst working at the Royal Papworth Hospital. Following this her PIN was reactivated in March 2019 and she is now back in the career she loves.

Here is some information on Joy: Joy has been in the NHS for more than 30 years and is a nurse by background. She is passionate about encouraging nurses to return to practice and has extensive experience of supporting them to successfully return to the nursing workforce. Ask her your questions!

Maybe you’d like to know some more information on how to get into nursing? Would you like to know exactly what the job entails and if any flexible working is available? Are you an ex-nurse wanting to return and have a few questions on exactly how to go about doing this? Or maybe you have questions about the application and training process?

Whatever questions you have about nursing (whether it’s returning to or wanting to start), ask them on the thread below and we will choose approximately 10 for Raych and Joy to answer. Everyone who posts their questions will be entered into a prize draw where 3 MNers will win a £100 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

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TooStressyTooMessy Fri 10-May-19 16:19:52

I could not agree more with the above posts. I would advise anyone to run a mile before nursing. Like medicine, teaching etc. we have a focus on recruitment and not retention (which is much harder to manage). In fact I think it is morally wrong to sell people this fluffy vision that nursing is family friendly and supportive when it is anything but.

If I was actually to ask a question I would ask why it is so difficult to change branch? I looked into it and would have to do my whole nurse training again where I am which is not going to happen.

daniel1996 Sat 11-May-19 07:14:41

I have been looking at an NMC-approved return to practice course, but would need help with childcare and flexibility around term time hours , and some financial help, do you think this is feasible (I have been out of nursing for 6 years) I would ideally need/want part time flexible hours - do you think this is feasible ?

lovemyflipflops Sat 11-May-19 08:16:46

I trained in the 1990's and am/was a registered general nurse, I know that all new nurses will need to have of study a degree-level qualification to enter the profession. What support would I get financially it I was to take the required degree - or can I circumvent this or can 'fast track' a degree as I have 5 O' Levels and a BTEC’s in Health and Social care and 5 years experience before leaving the NHS to have my family.

SeaWitchly Wed 15-May-19 22:46:27

RCN is also the most useless union known to man or woman. It rolled over and played dead when the government decided to cap nursing salaries and not award increases in line with inflation... however simultaneously also decided to increase their subscription fees in line with.... yes, you guessed it, inflation hmm

SeaWitchly Wed 15-May-19 22:50:09

I am currently in Australia and if there are any RCN reps on this thread please have a look at the Australian nursing unions and what they have managed to achieve for nursing salaries and working conditions which ultimately benefits patients in recruitment and retention of passionate, skilled and committed practitioners who feel supported in their role and not overburdened and ignored.

SeaWitchly Wed 15-May-19 22:55:32

PS When are Raych and Joy replying the questions posted?

DuckWillow Thu 16-May-19 07:24:47

I attended a RtP open day yesterday ...what a massive let down.
I can’t return to HV as they don’t offer that, the learning disability nurses were told the same. On the other hand there were two HVs present making devil signs and warning me off of returning to health visiting which has dived since Virgin Care took over . They were there looking to reactivate their Reigstered Nurse status.

I can’t do my clinical hours part time because they don’t offer that either . Having an autistic teen going in to college means I cannot commit to full time hours just yet. I could do a study day and another two clinical days each week but that’s not available.

It seems unless I want to go in to a hospital and do shift work I am not going to be returning to nursing..not this year at least.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 16-May-19 12:34:39

Hi @SeaWitchly we normally keep Q&A's open for around 2-3 weeks to ensure that everyone who would like to ask a question is able to. We will then collate around 10-12 for NHS to answer and then post the link to the answers when it's ready smile

SeaWitchly Thu 16-May-19 22:41:33

Thank you for clarifying EllieMumsnet 😊

babyowl Fri 17-May-19 09:50:40

Perhaps just a very basic question for those thinking of re-training, is there a summary of what ARE the various routes into nursing + the cost + time commitment & the various nursing roles available + the typical pay & hours? It all looks very confusing standing from the outside.

School nursing & community nursing looks interesting, but I wouldn't know where to start, looking into this. Perhaps there are more family friendly options available?

PutYourShirtOnMartin Thu 23-May-19 16:37:01

I qualified in 1990 and worked until 16 years ago when I had to give up nursing due to a work induced back injury which culminated in spinal fusion. I cannot move patients. My PIN went out of date long time ago.

But I do have a recognized teaching qualification and a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies. I am now teaching first aid and bls/defib skills to employees in various companies.

Am I of any use? Is there anything for me?

Maiyakat Thu 23-May-19 20:55:12

Are there alternatives to working 12 hour shifts available?

kateandme Fri 24-May-19 10:19:44

if circumstances meant you could get your gcses or further education how hard would it be to get into nursing and how would you do that?

meandthem Fri 24-May-19 14:34:44

As a currently practicing nurse approaching retirement, can the return to nursing team suggest what sort of roles are suited to nurses who are limited by chronic physical disabilities? I ask this because in my past nursing career I have worked alongside nurses with significant health issues (eg unable to walk up stairs due to hip problems, severe respiratory disease etc), who have simply not had the capacity to work at the same level as their colleagues. The phrase “reasonable adjustments” is oft quoted but how does this translate into reality? In my experience the rest of the team have to take on extra workload to accommodate colleagues limited by their physical health. Long periods of sickness absence also have to be covered which to be honest breaks the back and the spirit of the team.
I am asking these questions as I anticipate that in the potential “return to nursing” candidates there may well be nurses who left their careers due to injury/ ill health and also possibly older nurses who were able to retire quite young. It is also in my own self interest as I may well see my current physical health decline as I age and ponder what opportunities may be available to me in the NHS in the future.

TellMeItsNotTrue Fri 24-May-19 15:36:41

Is it possible to get in to nursing but fit it around the school hours?

NicoAndTheNiners Fri 24-May-19 15:43:55

I hear that shortly rather than having to do a return to practice course you will be able to choose instead to take a test! Is that true and if so why would anyone do a course?

If it is true how confident are you that such a test will ensure competence for someone who has been out of practice for years?

fairgame84 Fri 24-May-19 19:16:21

I've just finished an rtp course. I've loved being back on the wards, nothing has changed but I wasn't expecting that it would have.

My advice is not to let your pin lapse as it's a pain doing the course. If you do the odd bank shift then you can stay registered and can go back without having to do the course.

fairgame84 Fri 24-May-19 19:18:33

The nearest you could get would be a term time contract on the wards or look into something like school nursing which is mostly 9-5 with a term time or all year contract. I did school nursing for 2 years to fit in with childcare arrangements but i didn't enjoy it, I prefer the wards.

yumscrumfatbum Fri 24-May-19 21:32:12

I'm an RMN. I left 13 years ago having done the job for 14 years. I left because services were so poorly resourced and I felt unsupported in a role with a lot of responsibility. I cannot imagine that this situation has changed, in fact I suspect it is worse. This is what drives my reluctance to return which I recognise is a waste of my training and skills.

RollsEyes Fri 24-May-19 21:39:08

I have a question but it doesn’t look like this is the place to ask it...has anyone received a reply to their question?

ChristmasFluff Fri 24-May-19 22:10:26

The reason constantly given to justify huge wages and bonuses for bankers and chief execs etc is that the salaries are needed due to market forces. Yet there is no shortage of bankers or chief executives.

There is a huge lack of nurses. Maybe increase the wages and let market forces work??

I (physiotherapist) have always said that if I swapped places with the prime minister tomorrow, I could do their job for weeks and probably months before being found out (if I ever was). I'd give any PM a morning before they either left or were sacked in trying to do my job.

Ditto I am sure for nurses. So why does the pay not reflect that? It;s not the PM (or any other MP) job needs high wages to attract applicants otherwise we wouldn't need elections.

ChristmasFluff Fri 24-May-19 22:15:43

We aren't asking the right questions, so we aren't going to get answers.

This ad campaign is only one step up from the MLM crap - appealing to vulnerable women.

If you are a nurse (or physio) and thinking of going back to work - get on the books of an agency. The same jobs, all the benefits, better pay, more control over working hours and less red tape compared to the NHS.

IfOnlyOurEyesSawSouls Fri 24-May-19 23:26:35

Dont do it - seriously don't.

Its not worth the impact upon your physical & mental health.

Im actively trying to leave.

DCIRozHuntley Sat 25-May-19 13:38:33

Does it matter how long you practised for? I only worked for a few months after qualifying. I'm also concerned - will being a diploma nurse rather than having a degree hold me back? Thanks

Bootsuit Sat 25-May-19 14:16:53

Your nursing skills and experience are needed more than ever before.

Could that be because of a chronic shortage of nurses due to terrible pay and working conditions?

There has never been a better time to return to nursing

How can that statement follow on from the first?

Nursing is horrendous. I'm not making light of the situation when I say that I suffer from PTSD when I think about the hospital and ward I used to work on. There isn't enough money in the world to make me return to that, nor would I ever encourage anyone to return to nursing.

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