I did my nurse training in Essex, and started working on the Coronary Care Ward at the City Hospital when I moved up here. I left nursing when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2002, and decided after a few years that I needed to look for a role with more family-friendly hours. I did a PGCE in Primary Teaching and worked with children who had serious learning difficulties or healthcare needs. After 10 years, I realised how much I missed nursing, in particular the teamwork and camaraderie of working on the wards, so I made the decision to return to my previous role.
I did my Return to Practice course through Derby University. It was a six month courses with some academic work and at least 150 hours of placement on the wards. Because of my background in Cardiology I was placed in the Coronary Care Unit. The course is focused on ensuring you have all your basic nursing competencies, as well as making sure you are up to date with any changes. Basic nursing care had altered very little but I found that a lot of things had moved to become computerised since I had been away, which took a while to get used to. I was given a mentor associated with the course and a mentor within the Trust, which meant I felt really well supported. It helped me to feel positive about the course.
Once I knew I had passed my course I was able to apply for jobs. I applied for a job in the Cardiac Catheter Suite, and I’ve now been working here since March. I love it here because I’ve done so much cardiology in the past. I’m very comfortable and very well supported, but I’m also learning new skills all the time.
I think if anyone is thinking about returning to practice, they should talk to the university to find out more. There is a lot of support available to help people come back. We need good nurses in the NHS, so if someone is thinking about coming back, I would definitely recommend they look into it. I’m really pleased I did it.
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