An oncology research nurse who has returned to practice at West Suffolk Hospital has urged other former nurses to follow her lead.
Lisa Patterson refreshed her skills by completing a ‘return to practice’ course last autumn, six years after leaving nursing to raise her family.
She has since begun working in her ideal job with the hospital’s research team, helping run clinical trials with the aim of further improving the care which cancer patients receive.
Lisa is now urging other former nurses who are thinking about returning to the wards to consider applying for a place on the next course, which begins in September.
Taking place over 15 weeks, it includes 10 days of study at University Campus Suffolk, as well as home learning and supervised practice on the wards. Its aim is to help refresh former nurses’ skills while also bringing them up to speed with the latest clinical practice, in turn allowing them to regain their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
“Before I had my children, I worked in a research role for five years, so hadn’t actually been on the wards since 2005,” said Lisa, who has three sons and lives in Bury St Edmunds with her husband.
“It was a steep learning curve as there had been huge changes, such as more reliance on computers, but I received lots of support from both ward staff and lecturers to help bring me up to speed.
“But the principles of nursing have remained the same, and even though the course was quite tough, it was well worth it in the long run.”
The course is fully funded, and anyone who applies for a place in September’s cohort will be able to complete their clinical work at West Suffolk Hospital.
To apply for a place, visit www.jobs.nhs.uk and search for “return to practice”. The closing date for applications is June 30.