The interpretation of "recent" can vary, depending upon the perception of the hiring manager. As a rule, it also varies with the type of clinical background that is being sought. For instance, in areas that tend to move at a very fast pace with continuous change and innovation (critical care units), recent = within the last 12 months. But for medsurge/tele, recent may = 24 months. It may also vary depending upon how much expertise you have. If you had umpteen years of experience the hiring manager may realize that your overall competency would not really erode after only a couple of years. This would not be the case for a relatively new nurse who probably had not achieved such a high level of mastery/competence.
Not the answer you wanted, huh? My advice is to be brazen - prepared to defend why you believe that you are (still) very qualified for that job, despite the fact that you took a short break. Now, you're rested and ready to approach it with a whole new batch of motivation!!