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Back to nursing: new standards for return to practice programmes

13 June 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 11

In a climate of growing nurse shortages nationally and internationally (Buchan et al, 2017) it is vital that we attract and retain as many registered nurses (RNs) as possible and support them as they adjust to contemporary practice. To practise as an RN in the UK, nurses must revalidate every 3 years from the date of initial registration. This involves providing evidence of professional competence, including a minimal level of working hours and continuing professional development.

Failure to fulfil revalidation requirements results in a lapse in registration. To return to work as an RN thereafter it is necessary to complete a return to practice (RtP) programme, the standards for which are set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Following an extensive consultation process, the 2011 standards have been updated and published this month (NMC, 2019a). What did the consultation process reveal and how have the standards changed?

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