Return to Practice (Adult Field)

Lecturer showing student nurses 3d model of the heart.

Are you considering a return to your nursing career?

The part-time Return to Practice (Adult Field) programme at Aberystwyth University provides you with an inclusive learning experience which (subject to final approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Council) meets the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s [NMC] Return to Practice Standards (2019) and enables you to apply for re-admission to the professional register as an autonomous registered healthcare practitioner, confident in your ability to meet the person-centred, holistic care needs of the wonderfully diverse people you encounter in practice.

The programme is also suitable for nurses who are unable to meet the NMC's practice hours requirements for revalidation in order to remain on the professional register.

This programme will commence in February.

To apply for the Return to Practice (Adult Field) course, please complete and return the Return to Practice application form.

Return to Practice flyer



Course overview:

Why study Return to Practice at Aberystwyth University?

This 60-credit level 6, part time module aims to provide you with the knowledge, practice hours and competencies to meet the Return to Practice Standards (NMC 2019) and be eligible for readmission to the NMC register. This module will enable you to regain confidence and update your skills and knowledge in a safe and effective way. 

The fundamentals of holistic nursing practice will be complemented by dynamic nursing care delivery models, which are underpinned by evidence-based healthcare. Our dedicated Healthcare Education team will empower you to re-learn the skills and attributes of a registered nurse, which will enable you to make a real difference to the emotional and physical health and wellbeing of others. You can expect to be challenged, you will learn new things about yourself and find inner strengths you never thought you had. Your journey will include a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, but it is going to be so worthwhile.

Our staff

All of the healthcare lecturers at the Healthcare Education Centre are registered practitioners with the Nursing and Midwifery Council or Health and Care Professions Council. The team have a breadth of experience and have worked extensively across a variety of clinical, research and academic settings. All of our healthcare education lecturers maintain their registration through continuous professional development and have a range of post graduate qualifications to reflect this. 

Teaching and learning activities will be supported by our Practice Learning Partners, charitable and voluntary organisations and most importantly service users and carers who are members of the public, who will share their personal experiences. Patients and their families are at the heart of everything that we do. That is why we believe shared experiences are a powerful way to learn and gain new understanding.

Wider University colleagues, who are renowned experts in their field will also provide additional teaching expertise within the nursing programme as required. 


When you complete the programme, you will be eligible to reapply to the NMC for Registered Nurse (adult field) status. You can expect a starting salary of £27,055, which may rise in line with the Agenda for Change Pay scale if you choose to pursue different career opportunities. Registered Nurses now work in a variety of sectors, and you can choose to progress your career in a variety of avenues.

Course content

As a part-time Return to Practice student, you will be provided with supervised clinical placements and theoretical input to ensure that you are eligible for readmission to the NMCs register by completing 450 hours of practice. If you feel that you already have some clinical experiences which can contribute towards meeting the NMC requirements, these can be agreed on an individual basis in line with our APel/RPL processes.

The programme consists of two core modules, a theory module (20 credits at level 6) and a practice placement module (40 credits at level 6). Both modules will run concurrently, and both will need to be successfully completed in order to pass the Return to Practice programme.

The programme is 20 weeks in total, consisting of 22.5 hours per week. The first two weeks will be theory based, to ensure that you have completed the necessary foundational training required for clinical practice. The following 18 weeks will consist of one blended learning day and two practice placement days per week. Your clinical shifts will be negotiated locally with your placement provider.  Some flexibility will be needed to meet shift patterns, student needs and personal circumstances. All practice hours will be logged and verified.

While the programme is delivered over a 20-week period, you will be allowed a maximum of 27 weeks to complete the whole programme. This allows for any holidays and sickness/absences taken during the programme.

What will I learn?

The Return to Practice curriculum is contemporary and will update your numeracy, literacy, digital and technological literacy skills. In addition, curriculum content will include:

  • Action Learning
  • Revalidation
  • Reflection
  • Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor Preparation
  • Safeguarding
  • Law, Ethics, Policy and Governance
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicines Management/SafeMedicate
  • Professional Practice.

This Return to Practice programme aims to enable you to: 

  1. Enhance your knowledge and skills to meet the Return to Practice Standards (NMC 2019) and be eligible for readmission to the NMC register.
  2. Apprise your personal scope of practice, identifying barriers and opportunities for professional development.
  3. Critique the legal and ethical frameworks underpinning clinical practice.
  4. Explain the pharmacological actions of common drugs.
  5. Demonstrate detailed knowledge underpinning the safe administration of medicines and factors affecting patient compliance.

How will I be taught?

We will use a variety of methods to deliver the Return to Practice programme. 

A significant focus of the programme will be practice-based, in order to expose you to real life clinical situations where you can re-hone your nursing skills in a supervised environment. During this time, you must complete a Return to Practice Assessment Document, to evidence your clinical learning and competence achievement. You will be supported in the practice setting by Practice Supervisors and Practice Assessors.

The theoretical element will be delivered by adopting a blended learning approach. This means you will benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods including lead lectures, small group work, self-directed study, seminars and clinical skills sessions. Simulation is embedded within the curriculum, and you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in a safe, learning environment which mirrors the nurse/patient experience.

Typical Entry Requirements

Applicants will need to:

  • Provide evidence of previous registration with the NMC
    • Applicants with NMC practice conditions must provide a decision letter issued by the NMC
  • Demonstrate they meet NMC English language requirements
  • Have capability to update numeracy skills in order to meet the programme outcomes
    • GCSE (or recognised alternative) Mathematics – grade C/4 or above
    • Equivalent numeracy skills through prior experiential practice-based skills
  • Have capability for digital and technological literacy to meet the programme outcomes.

Please note that capability for numeracy skills and digital and technological literacy will be further assessed during the applicant selection event.

Additional Requirements

In addition to academic achievements, in order to comply with professional requirements, the admission criteria also include:

  • Good Health and Good Character assessment (see Fitness to Practise information below) If you are offered a place with us, you will have to complete an Occupational Health Screening form
  • Enhanced DBS clearance (see Fitness to Practise information below) If you are offered a place with us, you will have to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Screening.

Fitness to Practise Process

Good health and character requirements as stipulated in NMC legislation means that you are capable of safe and effective practice either with or without reasonable adjustments. It does not mean the absence of a health condition or disability. Therefore, should any issues regarding your health and character be identified through our screening processes or you have been subject to NMC practice conditions, a Fitness to Practise Risk Assessment administered by the Academic Registry Team, will look at each individual situation and if required they will convene a Fitness to Practise Panel. The Panel will look at each individual situation and make a decision regarding your eligibility to be accepted onto the programme. If you have any concerns about this, please feel free to discuss this further with the Admissions Tutor.

In addition, a Fitness to Practise Panel also considers students’ health and character throughout the programme as well, should any incidences and/or ill-health occur during your training which will impact on your learning and/or on clinical placements. You can access support and advice regarding your health and wellbeing via Student Support and Career Services at any time during the programme.

Applicant Selection

After receiving your application, the Healthcare Education Centre’s Admission Tutors will read through your documents in order to assess if you meet the continuation criteria of our admission process. Please note that the places to study on this programme are extremely competitive, and if you fail to be invited to the next stage of the admission process at this attempt, we would strongly urge you to apply again in the future. 

Initial shortlisting will be based on information supplied in your application, including your personal statement and reference. Applications submitted which are missing key information (eg. details of qualifications achieved/pending, personal statements, references) will not be considered for shortlisting.

If your application meets the next stage of the admission criteria, you will be invited to attend an interview. All applicants attending our interviews will be assessed in line with All-Wales Student Recruitment and Selection principles and are supported by internal Healthcare Education staff, Practice Learning Partners, service users/carers/members of the public and students. 

As stated earlier, capability for numeracy skills and digital and technological literacy will be further assessed during the applicant selection event.