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Mental health nurse: Training

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Nurses are required to renew their Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) registration every three years by completing a notification of practice (NOP) form and paying a renewal fee. The notification form confirms that the post-registration education and practice (PREP) requirements have been met. To comply with this, 450 hours of registered practice and 35 hours of learning activity must have been completed in the previous three years.

The NHS recognises the importance of continuing professional development (CPD) and is committed to providing post-registration training that will count towards the 35 hours of learning activity. Training is usually planned to suit the individual's pace and circumstances. For more details, see the Prep Handbook .

In Scotland, all newly qualified practitioners are entitled to participate in Flying Start NHS , a personal development programme aimed at supporting individual learning and building confidence during the first year of practice in NHS Scotland .

Post-registration specialist practitioner courses are available and usually last for one academic year, although some can be completed in a shorter time if credit is given for prior learning and experience. Courses cover theory and practice in four main areas:

  • clinical nursing practice;
  • care and programme management; 
  • clinical practice development;
  • clinical practice leadership.

Masters courses are also available and nurses are encouraged to continue with their education and development.

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Written by AGCAS editors
February 2014

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