The Return to Practice programme is for qualified nurses and midwives whose registration has lapsed and provides you with an opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to return to the Nursing and Midwifery Council register as a practising nurse or midwife.
The NMC register has various parts: Nurses, Midwives and Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN).
This RTP programme provides you with an opportunity to return to Part 1 First level registered nurse in the following areas of nursing practice: Adult, Mental Health or Learning Disability field of practice; or the Midwives part of the register.
Students wishing to return to the SCPHN part of the NMC register are required to enrol onto either a return to nursing or return to midwifery practice programme. In addition to completing the RTP Programme, students will be required to undertake additional theory and/or practice to meet proficiencies for SCPHN in their lapsed field of practice, an example of this would be health visiting in order to return to the third part of the register should this be necessary. This will be assessed on an individual basis.
Further information regarding SCPHN re-registration is available on request.
In addition, for applications to Return to Practice Nursing:
In addition, for applications to the Return to Practice Midwifery:
English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency (minimum IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23).
Scottish Government is currently providing funding for students who are eligible. This has to cover the costs associated with undertaking the programme which includes: Course fees at the University of Stirling; Placement support; Occupational Health check; Health and Safety Skills training; Uniforms; Disclosure Scotland PVG applications. If you wish to apply for Scottish Government funding for the programme please note this on your application form. The funding will be allocated to the University.
Conditions associated with funding for Return to Practice Nursing
Returners must take up employment as a first level Registered Nurse in Scotland within 3 months of completing the RTP programme, or provide evidence that demonstrates they are actively seeking employment. If these conditions are not met, the £1500 Scottish Government funding will be required to be repaid back to Scottish Government by the student.
Students do not receive funding as individuals through the RTP scheme but may be eligible to apply for Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) funding to support their programme related outlays such as books, travel costs etc. Information on this can be found at:
If registration has not yet lapsed, but following a break in service you are keen to undertake the programme to regain confidence and skills prior to returning to work you can apply for the programme on the self-funded route.
The tuition fees for a self-funding student are £900 for an EU-based student and £1530 for an overseas student.
On completion of this programme students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to undertake the role of a registered nurse or midwife in accordance with the NMC Standards.
The 15-week programme consists of theory and practice hours.
The theoretical and skill components are delivered on campus with additional teaching and learning resources being available via our Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas).
Each student is also required to complete a minimum of 300 hours of nursing/midwifery practice in a specified area of practice where you will work with an assigned sign–off mentor to achieve the required NMC Standards (NMC 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011) and for nurses the NMC Nursing Essential Skills (NMC 2010). It may be possible to complete the practice hours over 8 weeks (full-time hours) or 12 weeks (part-time hours).
The students practice history and length of time their registration has lapsed will be discussed at interview to aid determining if the proposed practice hours require revision. Students should be aware that if their assigned practice learning environment provides 24/7 care they may be required to work over the 24/7 period in accordance with the NMC 2010 Standards.
The Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport works in collaboration with NHS Forth Valley and other Health Boards in Scotland. Completion of your 300 hours is likely to be within your local Health Board, however it may be possible to access other practice opportunities out with these areas.
The programme begins with 5 days on campus in which you will attend lectures, workshops and skills-based classes. The on-campus study days will be provided on the Stirling campus.
These campus days form an integral part of your preparation in returning to an academic environment and provide the required Health and Safety sessions, Nursing/Midwifery Skills, lectures and problem-solving workshops which will enable you to gain confidence and skill prior to returning into nursing/midwifery practice.
There will also be course content, such as reading resources and learning material, provided via our Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas) which student must engage with to complete the programme.
Each student will be issued with a Practice Assessment Document (PAD) which requires to be completed during the assigned practice hours. The purpose is to enable the student and their assigned mentor to clearly record the learning achieved in practice.
Students will be required to complete an academic assignment to demonstrate their ability to work at degree level (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 9).
Five on campus study dates. These are to be confirmed.
On completion of the programme you will be eligible to return to the Nursing and Midwifery Council register and gain employment as a qualified nurse.
The University of Stirling Return to Practice Nursing programme adopts the Model of provision in which the student is not provided with a guarantee of employment on completion of the programme and the responsibility of securing employment is with the student.
However, the agreement with the Nurse Directors in NHS Highland, Forth Valley and Western Isles is to maximise the opportunity for employment by aligning, wherever possible, the practice learning hours within areas of vacancy. Wherever possible the student will have their practice learning hours in an area of practice that links to their previous experience.
If you are applying for Return to Midwifery Practice the provision of funding is dependent upon the applicant having a formal offer of employment in Scotland before funding is agreed.