How long is too long to return to nursing

  1. Please help, I qualified as an RN in the UK in 1988, I moved in Pharmaceutical sales shortly after. I want to get back into nursing here in the US so I need to know if I've been out of nursing too long to take the NCLEX testing etc. Thanks.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hi and welcome. I think that you would probably need to take a refresher course. Have you kept your license current in the UK?
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    Welcome to the site

    You should be OK training wise to meet hours for the US but will probably need a refresher course before BON will let you go through licensure. I would also check out the International forum as being foreign trained it is slightly different process to go through and may involve CGFNS as you will need to get your transcripts across from the UK and may need to reactivate your UK license with the NMC. You could email the BON of the state you are looking at to see what they require

    Good luck
  5. by   regularRN
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I'm from the UK too - I qualified in 1987. I was out of nursing for about seven years, having never worked in the US.
    Anyway, I approached the State BoN who mailed me all the necessary forms - you have to get transcripts from England relating to your RN training and any other relevent qualifications. You also need a green card or work permit, and have to get finger printed etc. for the police check. After all the info was amassed, the BoN gave me "authority to test" - it took about nine months.
    I studied for the NCLEX for about 6 months using the Saunders review and a Kaplan book (but there are courses you can pay for to help you get through the test).
    I arranged to sit the test and passed in January '05. Then I looked around for "refresher courses", which were few and far between - I enrolled for a classroom course that lasted about a month, but really it was a waste of time (and money) because there was no practical element.
    I gained a job at my local hospital on med/surg and was lucky enough to be able to join the new grads for an in depth orientation (six weeks). And have been there ever since (although I experienced quite a bit of "health culture shock")!
    I work with a few "back to nursing" RNs, from many countries. The hospital is also willing to train people other than during the new grad orientation, usually for as long as it takes (within reason). There is such a shortage of nurses here...
    Having trained in the UK, you will have a lot of practical experience, which is an invaluable asset, compared to those who spent most of their course in the classroom.
    Lots of things are different - like RNs have to start IVs, do physical assessments and are responsible for doing everything for your assignment of pts (including PO and IV drugs), and computer charting. Also, there is a huge focus on "customer service" and not getting sued!
    Best of luck - it's worth the struggle (pay, benefits, job satisfaction etc.)
    Go for it!
  6. by   regularRN
    I forgot to say - my UK license did not have to be current - my BoN did not require a refresher course (I did it to boost my confidence!) and I didn't need CGFNS.
  7. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from Lotte
    I forgot to say - my UK license did not have to be current - my BoN did not require a refresher course (I did it to boost my confidence!) and I didn't need CGFNS.
    It all depends on which state you go to. Some do their own evaluation where most require CES from CGFNS. Things change all the time.

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