long time away from nursing!

  1. I have been reading some of the threads re returning to Nursing after a long time and I hope someone can make some comments on my situation…
    I graduated in 1966, worked 4 years in ICU/CCU and the got married and lived overseas. Except for some volunteer work and private home care of elderly I have not worked as a RN in the US for over 30 years!!!
    I am planning on returning to States and didn’t really think I was still qualified to work as a nurse…although my friends and relatives who are nurses keep insisting that all I need to do is attend refresher courses ( probly massive!! Haha).and I can always work at a specific type of nursing .
    I called the Connecticut Nursing Board recently and was told that since it was so long I would most likely have to take the Boards again..naturally not interested in that!!
    I would just like to clarify this point…woman on phone said that if you are out more that ten years that might be the requirement..i am not surprised with the rule…but only 10 years absence seems unusual…
    Could someone comment on this…is it standard in all States etc.?
    Appreciate any comments from those with experience in this area

    Thanks in advance Sparkyluv
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    First, let me welcome you to Allnurses.com.
    Second, many states are now moving towards a five year cut-off.
    Things have changed so much since you actually worked as a nurse.
    Few examples: computerized charting, laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery where the patients are recovered similar to a patient who has had lung surgery, stereotactic brain surgery, Gamma Knife procedures, just to name a few.

    More than likely, I would suspect that any state will make you take your boards again. And this is new also. Standardized exam that is good for the entire US and done on computer.

    Good luck................
  4. by   mattsmom81
    So I take it you no longer have a nursing license in the US? I would guess that is your BON's concern. If you had stayed in the US and kept up your CEU's and license, and had done part time homecare,a refresher course would be the only likely remediation for returning to practice.

    Good luck to you! If you can't get your license back you can always work for agencies or self employ as a private duty caregiver.
  5. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from mattsmom81
    So I take it you no longer have a nursing license in the US? I would guess that is your BON's concern. If you had stayed in the US and kept up your CEU's and license, and had done part time homecare,a refresher course would be the only likely remediation for returning to practice.

    Good luck to you! If you can't get your license back you can always work for agencies or self employ as a private duty caregiver.
    How could she work for an agency Unless you mean in a non-nursing capacity.

    Shame you weren't licensed in Ohio, at least for the next (about) year, the only thing you would need is current CEU requirements to reactivate your license. Wow, I thought I was out for a long time when I decided to come back!
  6. by   Repat
    I graduated in 1985, worked for a year in psych, and moved overseas where I worked in research at a medical school (my title was Research Associate, not nurse). I returned to the US 15 years later, and was able to reactivate my two licenses and obtain a new one after completing a refresher course (which was great for my self confidence, if nothing else!) and some CEUs (I concentrated on drugs and lab tests, as they are things that have changed ALOT). I have worked on a busy (understatement) telemetry floor for the last two years, and it didn't take me as long to get up to speed as I thought it might. I still find some of the things we are allowed to do amazing (pulling central lines, for one), but you learn and do. I love being back!! Good luck to you - let us know what happens!
  7. by   sparkyluv
    Thanks for everyones comments...of course i am aware of all the many changes in nursing ovre the years and that is one of the reasons why i myself wasnt even thinking of being capable of returning to the profession!
    All the nurses I know were all for it but i think they just werent aware of the requirements.!!
    Actually i am thinking of doing something like caregiver work since this is something which i have experience in and definately would have more confidence in.
    Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.
    Sparkyluv
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Hi - welcome to allnurses!
  9. by   krisssy
    Quote from sparkyluv
    Thanks for everyones comments...of course i am aware of all the many changes in nursing ovre the years and that is one of the reasons why i myself wasnt even thinking of being capable of returning to the profession!
    All the nurses I know were all for it but i think they just werent aware of the requirements.!!
    Actually i am thinking of doing something like caregiver work since this is something which i have experience in and definately would have more confidence in.
    Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.
    Sparkyluv
    I graduated in 1970 and worked for two years as a school nurse. So I haven't worked as a nurse since 1972. I renewed my license by taking two CEU courses online from Nursing Spectrum. Taking the boards again was not required in my state. Then I took a refresher course at a local college. I did quite well. I have been studying pharmacology and dosage calculations on my own. I am just about ready to get a job. I want to specialize in psych or neonatal. I intend to work in a hospital that has a good orientation program and one that allows me to work with a preceptor for as long as necessary. You can do it. It is never too late. krisssy
  10. by   mattsmom81
    Wow..I'm amazed that some nurses here have returned after 10-15+ yrs out with no problems from their BON's...guess ya learn something new every day (and guess we can thank the 'nursing shortage' for something, eh...LOL)
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Even though you have been away from nursing, you are still ahead of those of us who are in school (or getting ready to enter school) with no background at all.

    It does seem reasonable that you would have to take the NCLEX, but consider taking a review course and do it! A couple of hundred for the course, the same for the exam--much less expensive than going back to school, and you could accomplish this in a few months.

    Do take the refresher as well--skills can get really rusty and the gadgets and improvements in equipment are phenomenal.

    But do come back! And welcome to allnurses.com!
  12. by   bargainhound
    delete thanks
    Last edit by bargainhound on May 15, '04 : Reason: delete
  13. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    This seems very judgemental.
    Wow, I don't get that at all. At most, that response just seemed conversational. My understanding of that post was that due to the nursing shortage, it may be easier to get back into nursing after a lengthy hiatus. Really almost seems kind of like a reasonable conclusion.....

    But then, I'm in the group that feels that threads ought to stay on topic and not wander off into who seems judgmental, critical, stupid, etc.
  14. by   mattsmom81
    Didn't mean it to be judgmental at all...just expressing surprise. With the BON's emphasis on 'protecting the public' and the way some go after practicing nurses, I was surprised they would welcome back those on hiatus' for many many years. Without making them jump through a million hoops that is...LOL!!!

    I wish all returning nurses much luck...we need you back in the trenches for sure.

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