back into nursing

  1. I "retired" from nursing almost 6 years ago when my twins were born. I am now finished having children, 5 total now, and am looking to go back into nursing part-time. I had always intended on being a NICU nurse, but after graduation could only find a job in CVICU, which I did for 2 years and learned alot, but I did not love it. I did a 5 month internship in NICU my last semester of school and it was the best time I have ever had at a job. I would like to go back and do something I love. I have read some recent posts where advice was given to work in post-partum or MOther-baby before going to the NICU, which I definitely think is a good idea for me because I have been at home so long. My question is, is there any training, courses, or books anyone would recommend before going back to look more attractive to employers. I know there is a shortage out there, but I really want to get back to the babies!!!!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Have you asked the Illinois board of nursing what you need to do to get an active liscence again?

    If you want any mother baby stuff, AWOHN always has courses and seminars going on. I would also reccomend some sort of breast feeding refresher (because you'll use that in the NICU too). Other than that I have no ideas, but good luck!
  4. by   RNagain
    thanks for your reply. My license has already been reactivated. Would those courses be on the AWHON web site? By the way, does breastfeeding 5 infants for the last 6 1/2 years count as a refresher course?

    (just kidding!)
  5. by   fergus51
    I definitely think it should!!! I am also pretty sure the website does have seminars listed. If not, the BON should have info.
  6. by   dawngloves
    Originally posted by RNagain
    thanks for your reply. My license has already been reactivated. Would those courses be on the AWHON web site? By the way, does breastfeeding 5 infants for the last 6 1/2 years count as a refresher course?

    (just kidding!)
    You'd make a great Lactation Consultant!!!
  7. by   Jolie
    To RN Again,

    I noticed that you are in the Chicago area. I worked at Rush in the SCN about 15 years ago, and remember more than one "returning" RN who came to work there. Some had previous NICU experience; some did not. I started there as a new grad with absolutely no relevant experience, as did most new hires, and did very well because of the extensive orientation program. I would strongly encourage you to check it out.

    Also, I believe I read a post of yours on another site, and would like to respond to it. I would not recommend a refresher course unless an employer absolutely requires it. NICU is a world unto itself, and very little, if anything you learn in a refresher course would be of any use to you there. In fact, you would probably have to "unlearn" much of what you just "refreshed". Secondly, in 11 years of OB and NICU nursing, I have oriented a few "returning" RNs, and found them to be very conscientious, detail-oriented, and eager learners, unlike some new grads or even experienced RNs who think they already know it all. The only consistent "fault" I could find among returning RNs is a lack of confidence, but that comes with time. Good luck to you.
  8. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    I am a new grad RN in the NICU been there for about a month in a half now.......I really love it...... I have very good preceptors and I enjoy what I do. The only books I purchased were the Preemies Book and the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Handbook By Merestien and Gardner......we have a 12 week class we have to do out of that book....The Preemies Book was a basic book written for parents but very informative to me as it broke things down for me to understand in layman terms ......the other book is more for healthcare ppl and it gets deep but those were the books I used and that I would recommend for someone who wanted to go into the NICU.......Good luck to you and it is glad to see another Chicagoan on the BB.......:roll
  9. by   Anaclaire
    rnagain,

    your recent home experience would be invaluable on a mother-baby unit!!! what a wonderful asset you would be there!!!

    i have a couple of suggestions for your request for materials that can help you 'bone up' on nursing knowledge related to neonates and postpartum moms.

    first is related to a web site where i received my certification in high risk neonatal nursing. they offer continuing education modules for their certified nurses for keeping up to date and current with their certification requirements. i don't believe you must be certified to be able to purchase the modules, and they are wonderful! they are modules of articles gleaned from the most respectable medical journals so their content is highly relavent. some modules offer 15 hours of ceus and others offer 45 hours. there are several categories including:

    • high risk neonatal
    • maternal newborn
    • obstetric
    • women's health
    • telephone nursing


    here is a link straight to the maternal-newborn continuing education modules:

    maternal-newborn ce modules

    their main web page is http://www.nccnet.org

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    the other website that comes to mind is of "neonatal network". they are one of two popular nicu nurse nursing organizations (the other being nann - national association of neonatal nurses. i am a member of both). they publish neonatal network a very popular journal for neonatal nurses, mainly nicu nursing. also, for 5 years, they published a journal for mother-baby nurses titled "mother-baby journal" but because not enough nurses subscribed, they stopped publishing it. they do however have back issues for sale. here is a link to their back issues page:

    mother-baby journal back issues

    neonatal network also has a publishing area called nicu ink which has many good books relating to nicu and well-baby care. one i have and would recommend is: physical assessment of newborns: a complete guide to the art of physical exam, 2nd edition. it includes ceu's too if i'm not mistaken. many of the books from nicu ink do too. here is a link to the nicu ink page on the neonatal network website:

    the academy and nicu ink bookstore

    if i can think of some other sites or places for you, i'll post them. right now i'm tired and ready to go to bed. don't give up on your dream of nursing with the babies... life experiences often enhance our skills in ways we'd never expect. i could even see you, after getting comfortable on a mother-baby unit, teaching childbirth classes or being a lactation consultant. the nicu would love to have you too though. don't you just love the way nursing offers soooo many options for us?! i do!!

    best wishes for a fantastic future and continued happy family!

    warmly,
    anaclaire
  10. by   Tookie
    What great advice and help
    All l was going to say was great decision - get back in nursing they need you - when you have the ability - dont let it go to waste
    Good luck
    Tookie
  11. by   RNagain
    I am so glad that I found this site. Thanks to all of you for your help and support. I was feeling a little nervous that I have been out for so long but you guys have really made me more confident. Thank you so much!!!!!

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