New programme to help address nursing shortage
Published On Fri 15 Nov 2019 by Jonathan Watson
A programme aimed at addressing Scotland’s record level of vacant nursing posts has been launched by the University of Dundee.
The Return to Practice initiative will continue in February 2020, providing a pathway for former nursing staff to return to the profession in just three months.
Operated by the University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences and approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the course includes one week of on-campus study with 450 hours of practice on placement, refreshing skills and bringing students up to current professional standards.
Sheila Douglas, Programme Lead, said this could significantly benefit health boards and patients.
“Many nurses have lapsed from the register for a number of reasons, whether it’s been through changing jobs, moving abroad or through family commitments.
“However, for those that wish to return to the profession there can be significant hurdles that may deter them from doing so. This programme will cut the period of re-training from three years to three months and allow former nurses to resume their careers.
“Return to Practice can potentially return dozens of nurses to the workplace in a short period of time, providing a valuable pool of qualified, experienced talent that health boards across Scotland can benefit from.”
In September it was reported that the number of vacant nursing posts had reached its highest level since recording started in 2007. Despite reporting the country’s largest ever nursing workforce, NHS data highlighted a shortage of more than 4,000 nurses and midwives.
Dundee is one of the country’s leading destinations for Nursing and was this year named as University of the Year for Student Experience by the Sunday Times Good University Guide.
Placements for the Return to Practice programme will take place within Tayside or Fife, with part-time hours also available.
“This is an opportunity for those nurses who have considered returning to the profession to return to patient care,” added Sheila.
“Return to Practice will help former nurses to resume their careers while playing a crucial role in addressing Scotland’s nursing.”
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