I'm new, so greetings and accept my thanks for a great forum!
I am a male, aged 44. I have been a nurse only since October 2004. Prior to that I was in another career (research science, biochem). I have a bit of a problem, however. I had some bad luck when I was finishing my degree. About a month before graduating from an accelerated BSN program, I started having a lot of pain in one of my feet. I was then rotating through an internship in the OR at a local medical center, and was on my feet for 12-13 hours at a time with few breaks. I ended up getting surgery a month later, right after finishing my degree. I figured I'd study for my license while I recuperated. Got my license in Fall 2004, and started doing med-surg nursing. After 7 months and a lot of pain in my foot, I finally had to take a leave of absence and be off my feet to let my surgical repair fully heal. Turns out it takes about a year to heal after the surgery I had; I tried to come back too soon. The upshot is that I took a non-nursing job temporarily to make ends meet, and now I am ready to go back to being an RN. The bad news is that I have not done any nursing in nearly a year, and I feel rusty and lacking in confidence, to be honest. I've forgotten a lot of what I learned in school and clinicals. I do remember what I did on the job for those 7 months, some of it anyway.
I need to get back into the game, and I am wondering what options I have for review and regaining my position within the field. I am trying not to be too hard on myself; I had no control over getting a foot condition and then needing surgery, It's just a bit of bad luck is all. I am concerned about being viewed as damaged goods, however. I am competely healed now, and plan to be frank with employers about my somewhat difficult start in the field. I hope that is the right course of action; I'm not comfortable deceiving anyone.
The other factor is that I'd like to try another kind of nursing besides med-surg. I didn't particularly like the floor - the pace was brutal - and I am better suited to working with fewer patients but in more depth. I'd consider an ICU, but frankly I am a little intimidated by that right now. Perioperative nursing is appealing also, but few hospitals in the area offer training in it for new people (Why do nursing schools offer so little preparation for RNS wishing to go into the OR?). I also like specialty areas like the GI lab or similar. So - basically, I want to get off the med-surg floor, but I am a bit hamstrung from lack of experience and feeling rusty.
Any comments and suggestions appreciated! Anyone who's been out of nursing like me and then got back in, do share your thoughts. I wouldn't rule out a nurse refresher, but would prefer to bypass that if possible.
One idea I had was to try to certify in ACLS independently. Is that possible? If I have ACLS certification when I return to work, it would make me more marketable, right?
Thanks - GaBoy61