Refresher course feedback

  1. I am considering returning to nursing after 18 years out of the profession. I would like to hear testimonials from others who have completed a refresher course. What were the time committments, classwork, clinicals? How long from start to finish? Was it more than just a brush up on fundamentals? Would you do it again? Thanks for the feedback.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   ZZTopRN
    Hi: I don't know what state you are in or the availability of refreshers where you live, but I am in California and they are hard to come by. I just entered my refresher 8/29/05. It was 2 months of very intensive book work and labs. We are now in our clinicals. We also do this for 2 months (will be finished sometime in December). The course is excellent and a lot of nurses are hired out of their clinicals. At the hospital I am taking clinicals at they allow you so much time in med/surg to brush up on primary skills; you can pick mostly where you want to take other clinicals such as endoscopy, interventional radiation, ambulatory, ER, pediatrics or just psych.

    I am very happy with the program. But I imagine where you live and the availability of the refreshers vary. Here in California there are very few, but I was very lucky to get one near where I live. They are given only twice a year.

    Best thing to do, now that I think of it is to call the BON and they will give you names and addresses of schools.

    Hope this helps.
  4. by   SandraJean
    I've also been out of hospital nursing for 18 years. I took an RN refresher course last year at a local community hospital. It was two months of a weekly class ( three hour class) followed by four clinicals. Two shifts were in long term care, not too much experience there. Two days in the hospital, but only assigned one patient to care for. I still don't feel that confident with my technical skills, but I'm hoping that this will come. I know that the machines and technology aspects of nursing have really changed in 18 years!
    Good luck to you. It's kind of scary stuff.
  5. by   StayHomeMom
    Hi lwb,
    I am in the same boat as you and everyone. I also posted the same question on the general discussion forum a few days ago and some good friends gave me their advice. I thought I have some of the longest absent years (been out 10) until I saw your post. 'SandraJean' and 'movingalong'
    in my opinion in what they have done to change their present state in preparing for a great future once agan in nursing makes us very hopeful about ours. Now I know it's duable. I just need to find a good program. Let me know if you do. I live in Northwest Indiana. I'm waiting from Purdue University for their response. I'm also considering joining the volunteer program of a nearby hospital.
  6. by   gr8rnpjt
    I graduated in 1980 from a diploma program, started working for my alma mater, then got pregnant 5 months later. I took 7 years off (married, children), but that was 18 years ago. I took a refresher course at my local community college, it did not include any clinical. 3 classes over about 20 weeks 3 times a week. After I went through that I went back to the old alma mater and worked there again for another 3 years (steady nights, tele) then started working for insurance companies. Have worked for 4 of the 5 major companies in the Pittsburgh area. That is my niche (steady daylight, weekends off) I would encourage anyone who wants to go back into nursing to take the refresher course and do what makes them happy!
  7. by   SandraJean
    Quote from gr8rnpjt
    I graduated in 1980 from a diploma program, started working for my alma mater, then got pregnant 5 months later. I took 7 years off (married, children), but that was 18 years ago. I took a refresher course at my local community college, it did not include any clinical. 3 classes over about 20 weeks 3 times a week. After I went through that I went back to the old alma mater and worked there again for another 3 years (steady nights, tele) then started working for insurance companies. Have worked for 4 of the 5 major companies in the Pittsburgh area. That is my niche (steady daylight, weekends off) I would encourage anyone who wants to go back into nursing to take the refresher course and do what makes them happy!

    Did you find the nights hard to work when you first went back? I'm thinking that nights might be a good transition back for me.
  8. by   deanaRN
    I am in AR, here it is mostly done by correspondence. You go in for testing after each unit. After passing the course you have to find some place that will let you do two weeks of clinicals. I have not done it yet but have called the two places that our state board has listed as approved. You have 1 year to complete the course.
  9. by   lisa41rn
    I graduated in 1997, but never worked as an RN (brought up my kids instead). Once my "baby" began school, I very much wanted to get back into nursing. I took an RN refresher/re-entry course. It was very intense, cost about $2,000.00 (refundable for me as I accepted a job in the hospital the course was offered) and am now almost four months into my position. Not having ever worked as an RN made this entire process really tough, but I'm moving ahead, some days wanting to quit, but most days getting by. The course was three months long, I think it was eight weeks of classtime and then four weeks of clinicals. The job I accepted was on the same floor as my clinical. You'll be amazed at how things have changed. I was just being away for eight years!! Good luck to you. (Oh yeah, there were about 16 in my class and many were out longer than I was and a few were out between 15 and 20 years!! You're not alone!!)
  10. by   lwb
    Thanks for your encouraging notes. I have maintained my license in another state but do not qualify for a license in the state where I am living. Being licensed in both states would offer me a greater variety of jobs in my field of interest. I live close enough to the state in which I am licensed and that I could try to find a job there. This would eventually give me enough hours to qualify for a license in my state of residence. Because I have two paths open to me I am trying to judge the value of the refresher course. I am not sure how helpful the refresher course is to returning to practice, especially since my experience has been in the field of public health. This is why I am exploring the refresher course and seeking feedback on how helpful others have found them. I welcome additional insight from any of you.

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