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Princess Alexandra offers a return to practice

Health / Tue 9th Jun 2015 am30 08:10am

Princess Alex returnTHE Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is filling nursing vacancies by supporting individuals who wish to return to practice after years away from the profession.

Kathy Wadhams from Harlow in Essex gave up her nursing career 10 years ago, but is now back in full-time work after returning to Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) this month following completion of a Return to Practice (RTP) course at the University of Hertfordshire.

She is one of two nurses who are now working at the hospital as a result of the Return to Practice training initiative.

Kathy worked at PAH for 20 years before switching to a career in pharmaceuticals with family-friendly working hours which suited her at the time and allowed her more time with her three children.

However, two years ago, she decided she wanted to return to nursing when she realised how much she missed caring for patients. After speaking to a member of the Practice Development Team (PDT) at PAH, she enrolled on a course to regain her nursing registration.

The Return to Practice programme has been running for a number of years, but was boosted in early 2014 to encourage ex-nurses to return. The programme works on refreshing the key skills that are needed in the nursing profession and consists of classroom and placement-based learning over a three month period.

Whilst studying on the RTP course, Kathy had a nursing placement on Tye Green Ward in PAH which was arranged by the PDT. She found working back in a hospital environment extremely useful alongside her theoretical study.

She explained: “Having a placement at PAH was a real asset – it was just like coming home. Being back on the wards was scary at first, but with some excellent mentoring and support from the staff, my confidence has definitely come back.”

Julie Oliver, a Clinical Facilitator for the PD team helped Kathy when she expressed interest in completing an RTP course.

“There is so much to gain from re-joining the profession and there are great supporting networks both at the university you choose to study at and the Trust you arrange your placement with.”

There are over 40 RTP courses running across the UK which have no course fees for nurses who are wishing to return to practice. Locally, RTP courses run at both the University of Hertfordshire, and Anglia Ruskin University at their Chelmsford and Cambridge.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse at the PAHT said, “The Return to Practice programme is excellent, and a great opportunity for nurses to come back to the profession and be supported every step of the way. Nursing and midwifery is a passion that never subsides, so I would urge anyone who is interested to get in contact with their local PDT and arrange a place on a course.”

At PAH, the PD team are happy to speak to anyone who used to be a nurse and are considering a Return to Practice course. You can call: 01279 694926 or email: [email protected] to discuss this with a member of the team.

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