At Royal Papworth Hospital, we take training and development seriously and offer a wide range of training and development opportunities to help you progress in your career. 

Every member of staff takes part in regular 1:1s and an annual Individual Performance Review (IPR). This is an opportunity to discuss progress and plan for future learning and development requirements, including personal and professional development and the meeting of core and aspirational need.

Learning opportunities at Royal Papworth Hospital include:

  • Mandatory training
  • Work-based and experiential learning
  • Clinical skills development
  • Clinical and corporate simulation exercises
  • Apprenticeships and vocational developments
  • Professional qualifications and accreditation, including our popular Masters-level module in Cardiothoracic Critical Care for nurses
  • Coaching, mentoring and supervision
  • Workforce development, leadership and management skills
  • External conference attendance, representation and presentation

Futher information about specific training opportunities


Apprenticeships at Royal Papworth Hospital will now have the benefit of the expertise and support of the apprenticeship team at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) as part of a new shared service. Please contact the apprenticeship programme manager at CUH, on 01223 254832 if you have any query regarding new apprenticeships.

This new shared service will support our clinical education team but will not otherwise affect the delivery of clinical apprenticeships within the hospital.

Staff induction

We offer a comprehensive induction programme for all new joiners which includes hands-on practical sessions, presentations from experts across the hospital and the chance to meet other new staff. 

All new nurses will have a supernumerary period of four weeks where they will be supported by an experienced member of the team. Newly qualified nurses will commence on a preceptorship programme, which is delivered through taught sessions, e-learning/self-directed learning and supervision in practice by a ‘preceptor’ (a nurse who has been registered for at least a year) to help them get to know the hospital and their ward environment. 

Training for newly qualified nurses

We offer a preceptorship programme for all newly qualified nurses to help them develop their skills and confidence in cardiothoracic nursing.

All newly qualified nurses will be enrolled onto a six-day in-house training programme which is a mixture of face to face and virtual learning. The programme focuses on caring for cardiology, respiratory and surgical patients, as well as covering topics such as leadership. These study days are led by multidisciplinary specialists from different departments across the hospital.

As well as the preceptorship programme, newly qualified nurses will be matched with a ‘preceptor’ (a nurse who has been registered for more than a year) for a six month period, to provide ongoing advice and support.

Our Continuous Professional Development team also offers regular study sessions to help nurses gain competencies in cardiothoracic nursing – topics include administering oral medication, IV medication, chest drains, removing pacing wires, CPAP monitoring, tracheostomy care and ventilation. 

Training for non-EU overseas nurses

If you join us as an overseas nurse from outside the EU we offer support to help you prepare for the NMC part-two Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) test. In January 2018 we developed our first OSCE support programme which includes an 8-day study programme providing theory, practical and simulation education focused on the clinical skills with are reported to be tested during the exam, such as: 

  • Assessing, documenting and escalating vital observations using the National Early Warning Score (NEWS2), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and neurological observation assessments
  • Planning holistic care for a patient’s physical, mental and social health
  • Safe administration of medication
  • Written communication when transferring patients care
  • Basic life support, reversible causes of cardiac arrest and SBAR tool handover
  • Aseptic Non-touch Technique (ANTT), wound assessment and wound dressing change. 
  • Assessment of patients' Peak Expiration Flow (PEFR) 
  • Removal of  a urinary catheter
  • Safe collection of a urine sample 
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Hand hygiene

Teaching is provided by senior nursing staff in our Education team and is also supported by our extended Education team and registered nurses who have previously passed their OSCE exam. As an OSCE  faculty we provide professional knowledge and experiences to enhance learning and preparation. 

These study days are offered as protected learning time for those staff participating in the OSCE process and should be incorporated into shift allocation. Additionally, we provide two mock OSCE exam days to enhance the OSCE experience. Mock exams will include four nursing process stations covering Assessment, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. We also assess all clinical skills that could potentially be assessed when at the two clinical stations. Individual feedback will be provided.
For candidates working in specialist area such as theatres, labs and critical care, clinical insights of  the ward areas will also be provided as per local agreement. We will liaise with your preceptor and line manager to identify any challenges in your clinical area and help you gain experience outside of the classroom setting.

In addition, all of our Band 4 staff are encouraged to attend the Trust's Deteriorating Patient Study Day. This programme was designed and provided by the Education team and Alert team and focuses on the early recognition of a deteriorating patient and the timely escalation of patient care. Attendance at this study day provides students with the opportunity to relate OSCE teaching of the National Early Warning Score 2 (NEWS2) to situations they may face when working clinically. 

Once you have passed the OSCE exam, you will join our preceptorship programme to help you build your skills and confidence as a registered nurse at Royal Papworth Hospital. 

Training for Healthcare Support Workers

If you join the Trust as a Healthcare Support Worker, you will be enrolled onto the Care Certificate course (unless you have already taken the course elsewhere). Once you have gained the Care Certificate, you may wish to apply for further training, we offer an in-house HCSW development programme which consists of a mixture of face-to-face study days and virtual learning. Other training paths exist in conjunction with our local universities which offer apprenticeship routes into Nursing Associate and Registered Nursing roles. We currently support staff on the following apprenticeships; Level 5 Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship, the Level 5 Nursing Associate Apprenticeship and the Level 6 Registered Nurse Degree top up programme.

Training for nurses returning to practice

At Royal Papworth Hospital, we support nurses who have taken a career break - for whatever reason - to regain their NMC Pin and practice as a registered nurse. Nurses who are returning to practice are eligible to join us as a Band 3 Healthcare Support Worker while taking part in a three-to- four-month course to regain their nursing skills. The Return to Practice Course offers the chance to revisit clinical skills with the support of a nursing supervisor. At the end of the programme, participants undergo a robust assessment to ensure they are competent and able to perform as a registered nurse. Once participants have passed this assessment they can be appointed as a Band 5 registered nurse. 

Work experience

We work very closely with Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) and enjoy a shared service agreement supporting work experience opportunities. This is overseen by the Work Opportunities Team at CUH.


Find out more about our work experience opportunities.