if your state BON did not require a refresher course, would you..?

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    My situation is a little tricky, I will have an active license in the state of Hawaii again as of July 1st. I am applying for California license as well (never had one) but I will be back and forth between Hawaii and California so would like to be licensed in both states.

    I have not actively worked as a nurse for almost 8 years..however as of July 1st will have an active license again. If I am reading correctly on CA BON, as an active nurse I can apply for CA license but nowhere does it indicate that I need recent work hours..the only thing I am finding is that I need 30 CEU'S to activate.

    Since Hawaii does not require a refresher course I have been checking into what is required by CA and am not finding any info other than the 30 CEU'S required (since it's been less than 8 years).

    I would very much prefer to have some review before returning to patient care, but my question is:
    Will a full nurse refresher course prepare me more with theory of nursing or will the course cover practical nursing? For example , will I be writing care plans and doing nurse research and reviewing the five rights (which are all important things) or will I be reviewing parts of nursing that I really do need review on..like medication review, math calculations, abbreviations used, documentation, etc.

    I am hesitant to spend the $500-$700 for a refresher course that is not necessarily REQUIRED if I can instead spend the time and effort taking multiple CEU's and reviewing what will be specific to the job I will be seeking (for example I would like to taek CEU'S on medication, documentation, dementia, abuse, and other topics related to nursing home and home health care since that is where i plan to seek out a job). I know what I need review on, and don't want to spend the next few months writing care plans when I could focus on reviewing the info that I need the most..

    hope that makes sense.. on nurse.com I found a long catalog list of CEU's that I am interested in..

    thanks for the help
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    Check out the review course that you are interested in and see what it offers as they seem to vary greatly. Some of the courses are basic theory while others have lab and clinical components. You might try the forum for inactive nurses as well to see some other posts on this topic.
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    thank you..the one I have looked into specifically prepares nurses to take the NCLEX again ..I'll look into more on the forum you posted, thank you
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    I recently took a refresher course. I live in a state that requires active practice or a refresher after 5 years, so it was my only option. I'm not yet working because my husband's schedule is demanding and unpredictible, and I'm not willing to rely on childcare. But I wanted an active license in case he loses his job in this economy.

    To answer your question, I only took it because it was required. With the exception of the changes in diabetes management, I did not find the theory review to be terribly enlightening. And the clinical portion of the course was so limited as to be practically useless.

    My opinion is that an employer is responsible for properly orienting a new employee. If that employee has been out of practice, the orientation may need to be adjusted somewhat. But I believe orientation to be a more efficient way to address the returning nurse's learning needs. It can be individualized, whereas a refresher course covers a set curriculum that may or may not pertain to the nurse's working environment, especially if s/he works in a specialty area or out of hospital.

    If employers want you to have a course, then take one. If they don't care, I wouldn't bother.
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    thank you for the feedback..we are in a similar situation (I have kids too but want to be ready to work in case my husband loses his job)

    the thought of sitting through and testing for information learned in nursing school, that focuses on passing the NCLEX, just doesn't seem to be the right path. Writing research papers, and developing care plans, well I can do that on my own. The state does not require a refresher..I have spent a good portion of today taking CEUs just to get back into 'school' mode again and I like that i can select classes that are pertinent to where I will be working again.

    I still have my anatomy/clinical nursing textbook to review the body systems and problems/care.

    I learned a lot more from clinical time during school, and then out on my own with orientation. I think the NCLEX simply prepared me to take NCLEX'S Besides I did not work in hospitals so my orientation in the past was specific to med carts, ostomy care, wound care, etc and I learned all of that from being on the floor as an LPN before getting my RN license. Then later had orientation thru hospice which really does require it's own orientation and getting to know the charting.

    ..am very hesitant about signing up for a refresher and getting stuck on info I still 'remember' ...just finished a medication error CEU class that was VERY helpful..and completed one on intro to hospice. Seems I can show a prospective employer that although I am not doing a refresher course that I am taking classes pertinent to field of interest.


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