Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Hospice hails success of nurse return to practice scheme

  • 1 Comment

Royal Trinity Hospice in London has highlighted the success of a scheme supporting nurses to return to the profession “at a gentler pace” after a career break.

Since joining the return to practice programme two years ago, the hospice has supported eight nurses. Of these, six have chosen to stay at the hospice in permanent nursing roles, alleviating a nursing shortage there.

“I hope more hospices consider return to practice nurses as part of their recruitment strategy”

Helen King

The return to practice programme is run in partnership with Kingston University and St George’s University of London.

Those on the programme must complete theory and skills based sessions, a two stage assessment and a minimum of 150 hours of clinical practice over three months.

The hospice said nurses benefited from its flexible working policy, support from senior nursing staff, and an opportunity to learn at a gentler pace than in a hospital setting.

Participation in the initiative had helped Trinity recruit more skilled and experienced nurses during a period of national nursing shortage, it noted.

Helen King, clinical educator at Trinity, said: “Return to practice nurses bring fantastic communication skills, experience and networks from other healthcare settings and invaluable life experience which is so important when caring for people at the end of life.

“As a former return to practice nurse myself, it’s been so rewarding to support these new recruits to grow in confidence and competency,” she said. “I hope more hospices consider return to practice nurses as part of their recruitment strategy.”

Trinity Hospice

Hospice hails success of nurse return to practice scheme

Anne Smith

One of those who has completed the programme is Anne Smith, 56, a staff nurse at Trinity. She said: “I was out of nursing for 32 years. I left when I had children; nursing wasn’t as flexible back then.

“But when my daughter decided to train as a nurse, I saw her enjoyment and realised how much I missed it,” she said. “I thought I might be too old, but I am quite comfortable, even though I have a lot to learn.

She added: “So much has changed, like the medicines and technology, but I feel happy to ask for help. On the second day of my placement I thought, ‘I want to work here. I love it’ and I still do.”

Trinity describes itself as the only dedicated end-of-life care provider for 750,000 people living in central and south west London. Last year, it cared for 1,500 people in their own homes and through its inpatient and outpatient services in Clapham.


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • I am a retired Hospice Nurse in the North West of England, I have completed a Return to Practice Course In Manchester and am now awaiting the result of my assignment. I really wish that a scheme such as this existed here in Greater Manchester.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.