RN - return to work after 15 years!

  1. 1
    Hi Gang,

    My husband has to find a new job. I have been a stay at home mom for 15 years (worked 11 years in nursing prior to home transition). I've researched online refresher courses, and am set up to do that. I am a bit intimidated and anxious about returning to the workforce after all these years.:uhoh21:..but am hopeful at the same time, that I will be able to get a job.

    Anyone have any experience/advice with this scenario? Has anyone returned to the work force after a long hiatus? What activities/strategies helped you to prepare for RTW, as well as the specifics of securing a job? What area of practice did you return to?

    Thanks in advance for any input you can provide!
    I appreciate all the prayers I can get for our family. My husband has two interviews this week as well. :-)

    Thanks!
    lindarn likes this.

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  2. 7 Comments...

  3. 1
    wow I give you credit. I have been out of work for just over 4 months and getting very very desperate to find work. I have done psych/CD now for a while and the only medical I have done recently was in a LTC and that was not as a floor nurse but as an RN just jumping in to do treatments, admits, etc. It is so hard to get a job where I am ANYWHERE so I have had to consider going back into medical and the thought scares me to death. I did about 2 years medical at the hospital and I feel like I struggled somewhat then and to go back now--not sure I could do it. So I give you so much credit and good luck to you.
    An old co-worker of mine who worked for like 5-6 years in the ER left and went to do pharmacudical rep then insurance and was probably out 10 years or more and went back-- she chose ICU!! and it now in school as well part time for her NP! Maybe that lower patient ratio is better even though the acuity is wayyyy higer. You can focus really well on your one or two really sick ones.
    lindarn likes this.
  4. 2
    My friend returned back to work after 15 + years. She did the RN refresher class which she said was a joke but help to transition somewhat. She went back into ICU and within a month of being on her own it all fell into place. It's like riding a bike... at first a little scary but after you take off the training wheels you'll ride like a pro. The best part she said was her salary was based on her previous experience. Good luck and my prayers to your family during this time.
    Start2 and lindarn like this.
  5. 1
    Good for you for going back!! I've been out for about 8 years except for some school nurse subbing. I decided to go back to school and get my BSN before deciding what field to enter into. I paid my dues with Med/Surg and floor nursing, lol. So many things interest me like Infusion (I MISS starting IVs!), Public Health/Community Nsg, maybe even ER. So good luck to you and heading back. Home care may be a good option. I am loving school, but sometimes feel like I am in a NP program or medical school. It's all good
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 1
    Just have an upbeat and open attitude. Many things have changed, many things have stayed the same. You will find your sea legs soon enough, good luck!
    lindarn likes this.
  7. 1
    OnEaglesWings,

    Our scenarios are almost exactly the same. I was gone from nursing for 15 years and had 10 years experience before leaving the field. I took a refresher program (also had to retake boards) and have been back to work as an RN for a little over one year now. I would say it took about 6 months for me to really feel confident once again. Some things have changed (the equipment and so, so many new meds), but the patients are the same. My refresher program was not on-line and the clinicals were invaluable to me in terms of confidence-boosting. The moral support from my fellow students was awesome! Our program was very small with only 7 students because the hospitals quit hiring directly from the program due to the economy (no hospitals want to spend $$$ on training)...However, 5 of the 7 students found jobs. Of the two that didn't find jobs, one didn't really Want to find a job ... she was torn between staying home with her kids and working. So I would say that what you are attempting can definitely be done. If I did it, anyone can! I was absolutely terrified! I have to say that it WAS very difficult for every one of the students to find jobs ... because we didn't fit a category of hiring ... so few positions with many vying for the same one. It took a lot of persistence and, for some of us, settling for less than desirable jobs in order to regain experience. But we did it...and so can you!

    Good luck!

    P.S. By the way, I work acute care telemetry ... but my first job after the program was a temporary job in an outpatient clinic. Connections I made there got me my current job.
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 3
    If you are not physically fit, start working on that.
    When I started increasing my working hours when the kids got older, my legs would hurt so much from the standing my body was no longer accustomed to.
    Is it time to train your family to pick up the domestic tasks you will no longer have as much time to devote to?
    beewink, Otessa, and lindarn like this.
  9. 1
    I was home with my kids for nearly 7 years. I did an online refresher course, and was lucky that a hospital about an hour away allowed me to do my clinicals there. The theory portion of the course was pretty dull, but I enjoyed the clinicals. After all those years, walking into a patient's room and introducing myself as their nurse was pretty intimidating! Once I completed the refresher, I was able to get a job very quickly. But, I was only looking for per diem. I imagine it would be much harder to find full time work.

    I've been back since July. The biggest difference for me is that nowadays, hospital nursing involves a lot of "customer service". Hospitals used to be hospitals, but now, they try to be more like hotels! LOL Also, there are lots of new meds that I never saw years ago. Some techniques have changed as well, and some of the equipment is slightly different.

    I was really shocked by how much "came back to me". You'll be fine... Best wishes!
    lindarn likes this.


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