Former nurses are being offered the chance to return to the profession.

Registered Nurses who have taken a break from practice and wish to re-register to return to a rewarding career in nursing are being encouraged to take part in a free course being run by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

An open evening is being held at Blackpool Victoria Hospital later this month to highlight the benefits of the “Return to Practice’ nursing programme which starts on March 6, 2015. The course, which also includes a bursary, runs for six months and is open to all former qualified nurses.

Upon successful completion of the course there will be numerous job opportunities in a variety of specialities on either a full time or part time basis across the local health economy to provide that sought after return to a nursing career.

One nurse who recently returned to the profession after a 15 year gap is Karen Smith.

Karen, 44, works in the ITU Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and says her decision to return to the profession was “the best she had ever made.’’

She said: “I left nursing for a career in sales and although I enjoyed that I always missed nursing.

I was a bit worried that after 15 years I would find it difficult but that was not the case at all. I actually think the life skills I gained from working in sales and having my own family mean that I am a better nurse now than I was before.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make but it is the best thing I have ever done. I love the job and the Trust has been fantastic and done all it can to support me.’’

To be eligible you must:

• Not currently possess NMC registration
• Not worked 450 hours in a professional nursing role within the last three years

Karen Smith on the ITU Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Karen Smith on the ITU Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Marie Thompson, Director of Nursing and Quality at the Trust, said: “People have left nursing for all sorts of reasons. It could be they have had families, and have left to care for them.

Sometimes they left to care for an elderly member of their family or maybe they had to relocate.

The Trust has a number of vacancies and I am sure there will be a role suited to their skills at the end of the course.

It is a part time course, to obviously bring your education up to date. It is free and if you already have a part time job, you could fit them round each other.’’

Anyone interested in signing up to the course is invited to attend an open evening in the Education Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Thursday, January 22, 2015 between 4–30 and 6.30pm.

To book a place or for an informal chat about the placement aspect of the course, please contact Norma Singleton either by email or by telephone on 01253 953575.

For info about the application process, please contact Dale Starr / Guy McLennan at UCLAN by e-mail or telephone 01772 893839

Closing Date for applications is February 10 2015.


For further information about this press release please contact Derek Quinn, Head of Communications at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, on 01253 956 941 or