Okay, this might actually be easier with a flowchart but I will explain the best that I can.
I grew up in the US, graduated high school (midyear dec 04), and moved to Australia to get my bachelor's. That was all well and good, I had planned on staying there. I completed my degree (07) and completed a graduate year (08) but during this time I met my husband who is Swedish and have been in Sweden since Feb 09. I haven't worked as a nurse because I was required to have University level Swedish and a very long list of requirements to follow just to apply, and I've also been home with two kids. Effectively, this has left me out of the game since January 09, so just under 4 years.
AHPRA (Australia) granted me eligibility for registration as it was under 5 years that I'd been away. Rego is granted with proof of a visa or employment. Neither of which I could obtain...I can't blame employers of course, 1 year experience-four years ago, I wouldn't hire me either. And now you can't apply independently for visas without the consent of Australian Immigration, so I this is no longer an option.
Next step, the US. I have put in the necessary materials with CGFNS to have them evaluate my credentials so I can take the NCLEX. BUT with only one year of experience I don't qualify for any of the re-entry programs (2 years previous exp. required.) Okay, so grad programs, nope. I have more than six months previous experience so they won't allow me to participate...
I really don't know where this leaves me. I've looked into doing the re-entry in Australia, but it's $10,000 and 14 weeks. It's possible but it would mean leaving my husband and kids behind in the US to complete it, surviving on money we don't have. It MIGHT lead me to a visa, but it's an expensive gamble. I'm 99% sure I've called every hospital with a 'refresher' program in Aus, and all of them have said there's not enough interest to support the program at this time.
I want to cry, I have cried. I thought five years was the cut off! If they won't hire you after one or two years away, then they should make that the cut off! I have worked tirelessly over the last six months or so to try and get my foot in the door to no avail. All while at home caring for 2 kids, and losing my sanity. Please, please if anyone can shed some light on the situation I'd be more than grateful. Thanks for reading, positive thoughts and energy also welcome.