Returning RNs

  1. Hello...
    I am looking to hear from RNs who have had a successful reentry experience in acute care and/or who are trying to return to nursing and what they are running into.
    I have been out less than 10 years and am in the process of searching for employment in a hospital. I am currently enrolled in an RN Refresher Course and have completed the theory portion.
    What I seem to be finding is that managers do not have any confidence in a returning RN - no matter how much experience they have had.
    They still go with the new graduate.

    I would LOVE to hear that this CAN be done and that it was a positive experience.

    Thank you! Looking forward to connect...

    Beth
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Momof7
    I started back to work this past November after being home for the past 10 years. I had only worked for just less than 18 months as an RN prior to that. I am currently working on a very busy Med/Surg unit that are mostly surgical patients. The reason for my returning to the workforce was to #1 see if it was possible & #2 to update my knowledge/skills. Fortunately, my DON was a stay at home mom for 15 years prior to her return to the workforce many years ago....so, she could "relate". This was the only position that I applied for and managed to successfully obtain employment. As far as the work itself goes, everyone is giving me very positive feedback on my performance; and while some things have changed, some things have not. Actually, there are several nurses at my hospital who have returned to work recently after many years out of the profession. So, it is definitely "doable" if you are persistent! Good luck to you.
  4. by   GingerSue
    Quote from BethannieRN
    Hello...

    What I seem to be finding is that managers do not have any confidence in a returning RN - no matter how much experience they have had.
    They still go with the new graduate.


    Beth

    Any idea what it is that managers are doubtful about re: a returning RN?

    Maybe the employer's needs influences their hiring perspective?
  5. by   jjjoy
    Be persistent! You only need to find one person who's willing to give you a chance!
  6. by   KarryRN
    I'm in the middle of an RN refresher course right now. I completed the theory part last semester and I'm now in the middle of my clinical portion of the course. I am doing my clinical hours on a general pediatrics floor. My previous RN experience was on a peds floor of a Children's Hospital. Everyone I have been working with has been supportive and helpful. There is a nurse there on night shift who completed the same refresher course a year ago and got hired. I'm hopeful that I will also be hired once I finish my clinical hours. Good luck.
  7. by   BethannieRN
    Thanks so much for your encouraging replies!
    It really helps to hear your stories.

    As far as not having confidence in the returning RN, it seems they are thinking that we are just so outdated ("out-of-it") that we won't be able to handle all the new changes. They like them "fresh" out of school and clinical.
    I have been told regarding students - at least they have been recently exposed to current and updated knowledge.
    The fact that I'm taking a refresher course doesn't seem to matter to them at all.

    I'm not giving up. I just didn't really relish the idea of having to move in order to get back into acute care because the local hospitals haven't been too receptive so far.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    ~ Beth ~
  8. by   Lacie
    Actually I start a new job in Dialysis after being out of the clinical setting for 16 years and out of nursing entirely for over 8 years. I was very surprised to get a job with being out so long and my last refresher course was in 1998. I applied to 2 jobs and the first I really wasnt interested in but the 2nd stated they liked that I was an "old schooler" as they felt newer nurses tend to lack the work ethic (dont flame me I didnt say it!). Thier recent experience was hiring 3 previous nurses to the position who just never came back within thier 2nd week of work. No notice etc. I did check the position out thoroughly also before applying and have heard nothing but good things regarding this particular facility. Anyway guess what I'm saying is that there are those out there that appreciate and respect the maturity. They had no problem with me "starting from scratch" once again lol.
  9. by   INtoFL_RN
    I was out for a little over 2 years. I applied for only one job just because it was a day shift per diem position in an area of nursing that I was familiar with. The position was filled just as soon as I applied. I kept my resume on file with them for a few months, and lo and behold, the manager of the unit called me to offer an interview.

    During the interview, I just emphasized my experience and my ability to adapt easily. I never took a refresher course, but not that much changed in 2 years. I got the job. I will say it took a good month to get back into the swing of things, and a good 3 months to get my time management back to normal!

    I think it's great that you've taken a refresher course and are willing to work hard to get yourself back to work. I don't understand why a new grad is better to an employer than an experienced nurse who has been out for a while. New grads may be "fresh" out of books, but they are new to everything else (in most cases). Good luck to you!

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