A unique opportunity to return to nursing is being offered to those who qualified as nurses but later changed career or stopped to bring up a family.
And a woman who used to co-own a well-known Morpeth café is encouraging those who are thinking of returning to the profession to give it a go after doing just that herself.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with Northumbria University and Health Education England to offer 20 people with lapsed Nursing and Midwifery Council registrations to complete its return-to-practice programme starting in September.
It involves completing academic work and between 100 and 450 hours of clinical practice, depending on the time spent away from nursing.
The nurses will have guaranteed employment with the trust upon completion and they will get on-going training and professional support.
Claire Nixon recently completed the return-to-practice programme and now she works as a staff nurse on the surgical assessment unit at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital near Cramlington.
The 49-year-old was a nurse for 23 years before having a career change that included running what was then Peppermint Tea Room in Newgate Street.
A big factor in her decision to come back to the profession was the day-to-day contact with patients and colleagues.
She added: “If you are thinking about returning to nursing, don’t hesitate, just do it. I have been fully supported and my transition back into nursing has been very straightforward.”
The posts will be advertised online at www.jobs.nhs.uk shortly. For more information, call Gillian Bell, practice placement facilitator, Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5pm, on 07789 173782.