Re-entering the workforce after 8 years at home!

  1. Hello! This is my first post to this site. I was/am an RN who worked critical care for 8 years before taking some time off to have a baby. Well, that maternity leave has lasted 8 years!

    I'd like to re-enter the work force sometime soon. The area in which I live does not offer an RN Refresher course. I'm hoping one of the local hospitals will help me out here. I cannot and will not take a job until I have this! Too much has changed in that period of time!

    I think I'll stick with something a little less...stressful than what I did before. Is that even possible with hospital nursing? Any suggestions as to what would be a good area in which to re-start my career? Now that I've had 2 babies, I'm a bit interested in labor and delivery.

    Finally, am I alone in this, or have any of you found yourselves in a similar situation--coming back after a long period of absence? If so, any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Bipley
    Quote from Sparklecat
    Finally, am I alone in this, or have any of you found yourselves in a similar situation--coming back after a long period of absence? If so, any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!
    No, but I'm seriously considering a future long term absense!

    Welcome to the forum!
  4. by   ShannonB25
    Well, I went back to work after an over 2 year hiatus. It can be done- lol. I returned to Labor and Delivery, as that's all I've ever worked. While it's challenging as well, there's not another place I'd rather work. I highly recommend the area. Several of the nurses that I work with have ICU backgrounds and feel that it's served them well in Labor and Delivery. My very first preceptor was a former SICU nurse and I'll never forget her telling me about her experience as an ICU nurse vs. a labor nurse- she said, ICU was tough, but labor and delivery is tougher! lol

    Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck with it! This is a great forum for any questions you might have too. As I said, I had a gap in service and am doing quite well now (and I've been back for about 6 wks now!)
    Good luck!!!
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Welcome to this site! While you were absent from the workforce, did you happen to maintain your nursing license? Or did you allow it to lapse?

    Anyhow, good luck with your plans of re-entering the workforce after that long maternity leave!
  6. by   Sparklecat
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Welcome to this site! While you were absent from the workforce, did you happen to maintain your nursing license? Or did you allow it to lapse?

    Anyhow, good luck with your plans of re-entering the workforce after that long maternity leave!
    I was licensed and worked in 5 states (was a travel nurse before I met my husband), and eventually put them all on "inactive" status when I realized it would be awhile before I could return. According to my state board, I can reactivate it with a fee and CEU's. I hope that's all it takes---I don't want to take the NCLEX-RN again!
  7. by   SweetOldWorld
    I went back after taking 8 years off. I took a refresher course at a local hospital, interviewed there, and got a job on a med/surg floor. It was a classroom-only refresher and I got 63 continuing ed hours for it. It was helpful, but the number one most helpful thing going back was the orientation I got on the floor. They gave me a month of full-time orientation, and told me if I felt I needed more time at the end of that, I could get it. I oriented with several different nurses, but they were all encouraging and wonderful. I picked a good floor to go back to. I was very nervous at first. I hadn't even taken so much as a blood pressure in that time away. It was difficult, but I've been back a year now and am glad I did it. I work part-time 8 hour shifts, which is exactly what I wanted.

    So my advice is to ensure that you get the orientation and support you need when you go back. Take the time to find a floor that fits you well. It is do-able! Some things changed a lot in that time. New drugs, new equipment, faster turn-around time for med/surg patients. We give a lot of IV meds, hardly any IMs. But a lot of it is the same old stuff. You will be rusty at first, but it comes back. A month of orientation was enough for me, but it was encouraging to know I was supported and could ask for more time if I needed it.

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide to do and how it goes!
  8. by   Sparklecat
    Wow, thanks SweetOldWorld!! I will definitely make sure I get a good orientation from the hospital. There are so many new drugs out now...and equipment! Goodness, I have never done charting on a computer and I'm sure that's the LEAST of the changes!

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I'll let you know how it goes when I get a job lined up!
  9. by   AdonaiLoveable
    I've noticed that for new grad nurses or experienced nurses seeking to changes specialties, many hospitals have organized Nurse Internships within the different specialties. Your hospital may have such a program set up and that may be just the orientation / refreshment you need.
  10. by   luvs2read
    Hi Sparklecat and welcome to the forum. I am in a similar situation to you. I have been out of the hospital for a little over 13 years. In that time, I have kept up my license and have worked for a home medical supply company (part-time) doing home visits on their home oxygen customers. this job does very little to maintain my skills (except in cardiac/respiratory assessments), I do not deal with medications, lab work or any procedures. Even though I have kept up my license, and have been working... I feel I am totally unprepared to re-enter the hospital. I worked for 12 years in various MICU/CICU settings and would like to do that kind of work again. I live in a very small town (<15,000 people) and am having a difficult time finding a refresher course. I would like to re-enter the hospital as my oldest child will be starting college in 2007 and the extra income will really help!!!
    Good luck and I hope we both find what we are looking for!!
  11. by   giftnurse
    Hi, this is my first post. I've been out a lot longer than most....about 18 years. I've just finished a refresher (on line with a 2 day lab), and 130 hrs clinical. And now I find I'm afraid to apply for a job. My history was labor and delivery, and post partum. I chose post partum for my clinicals, but you don't get many opportunities for procedures there, so I still feel inadequate. I find myself looking at positions that are totally non clinical. And procrastinating.
    I wish the clinicals had been with an instructor present. Paranoia sets in, and you think the other nurses must think you are really dense. I was surprised there wasn't a thread on here for re-entering RN's.
  12. by   Angels'
    Welcome to the AllNurses Forums

    I wish you all the best in your nursing careers.

    A returning student,
    Angels’
  13. by   sandra saul
    I have been out of nursing for 15 years to raise my only child and now I would like to renter nursing,but I am having no luck.I really need to work and am trained at nothing else. I am very depressed and feel worthless and hopeless and feel like all the hard work I put into nursing school and hospital work has been wasted. I appreciate this forum.
  14. by   Jessy_RN
    Best wishes to you!

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