Return to work advice

  1. I have been a nurse (rn) since 1985. I had to quit working about 6 years ago to care for my daughter who suffered severe brain damage during birth. She is more stable now and I would like to return to nursing PRN. What's the best way to get back in the work force? I went to a couple of job fairs/interviews and they act like I have 2 heads because I haven't worked in 6 years and also I don't quite know what to say when they ask why I was out. It's been frustrating. Any advice would be appreciated.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   santhony44
    I'd start by looking for a refresher course.

    As to why you've been out, "an extended illness in the family" or "caring for a family member with an extended illness" should be sufficient. You could, instead, say that you've been a stay-at-home mom. Those are true statements without being too detailed.

    You don't have to tell them anything, but you may want to say enough to indicate that it had nothing to do with your job or work.

    Even though you want to work PRN, you may need to work pretty regularly for a while to get oriented and up to speed. You might also indicate your willingness to do this.

    Good luck in finding something! I hope that your daughter continues to be stable.
  4. by   nursekristy
    I quit nursing (LPN) 7 years ago to go to a factory (more money).
    I decided that I missed it and wanted to go back PRN also. I was just hired at a LTC facility. I start training on the floor tomorrow.
    I don't see why you couldn't do the same. Maybe LTC isn't your thing but it would get your foot back in the door.
    Also, they told me they would be willing to train me until I felt comfortable on my own which I think is great! They promised not to throw me to the wolves.
    Another thing I remember them telling me is they just hired an "elderly" nurse that has been out of nursing for 25 years!!

    LTC has changed a lot since i did it last. I'm told medicare and other insurance are kicking these poor people out of the hospitals sooner and sooner. They said we have fresh open-heart patients straight from the hospital there! That makes me nervous but also excited that I will get so much experience.
    Good luck to you!!
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    My mom did what nursekristy did. She had been out of nursing for a long time, but kept her license current. Once she decided that she wanted to go back, she took some refresher classes and got her license in this state (we had moved from California). After that, she got a job in LTC. Once she had worked there for a few years, she was able to return to acute care and got a job in Ortho. This was in the 80's. There weren't too many nursing positions open, so no nursing shortage whatsover. This may be something that you have going for you depending on where you live.

    Best of luck to you and I hope that your daughter continues to remain stable.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i agree about taking a refresher course.

    and before anyone else asks, you may consider volunteering the reason for your loa..."family issues have necessitated me staying home. they have since been resolved" should suffice.

    who knows?
    when you're doing your clinicals (during refresher course) at one of the hospitals, maybe you'll be offered a job!
    best of everything to you.

    leslie
  7. by   widi96
    You might try asking at hospitals if they have a 'returnship program' -that is what our hospital does for nurses returning after an extended leave. I'm not sure what it entails, but it is specifically designed for RN's who haven't worked for awhile.
  8. by   KenCCRN
    Quote from jlasrrn
    I have been a nurse (rn) since 1985. I had to quit working about 6 years ago to care for my daughter who suffered severe brain damage during birth. She is more stable now and I would like to return to nursing PRN. What's the best way to get back in the work force? I went to a couple of job fairs/interviews and they act like I have 2 heads because I haven't worked in 6 years and also I don't quite know what to say when they ask why I was out. It's been frustrating. Any advice would be appreciated.
    I would try to get a refresher course as well ...and try to get back into the same specialty you left. You were nursing for 16 years or so and most of it is like riding a bike. You have the basic routine down...Some nursing fields have very little updates over the last 6 years....and some have extensive changes...so it depends on your specialty. But after 16 years of practice and a 6 year break...I wouldn't hesitate to ease back in. They may want you part time or fulltime though...they may feel that PRN would be too hard for you to get into the swing of things if you were only doing say 1 night a week as a PRN.
    Good luck!
    Ken
  9. by   Faeriewand
    Consider also taking an IV class with the nurse refresher course. Good luck!
  10. by   jlasrrn
    Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate your advice.

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