Return to nursing

  1. Hi! This is my first posting!!! I am attempting to return to nursing after a LONG absence (10 years since my last job, 15 since I was last a staff nurse). I have completed a return to nursing classroom course, but have no recent clinical experience. Has anyone ever done this? Has anyone ever hired someone such as me?! Thanks for your help!
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   kaycee
    Welcome back. I can't answer your questions from experience because I have never left nursing but I always thought nurse refresher courses included some clinical. See if you can find one that includes clinical. Otherwise even though you've been out for a while, considering the shortage I'm sure you'll be able to find a job. Good luck.
  4. by   gr8fulsusan
    Repat, good luck. Here is my letter to the editor:


    February 1, 2002


    In Gov. Gray Davis' State of the State address Jan. 2, concerning the state's "nursing shortage crisis," he said, "One key component of California's work force is our nursing corps. We must recruit and train thousands of new nurses who are the backbone of our medical delivery system. In the coming weeks, I will propose measures to expand the number of nurses throughout the state. I will provide incentives to clinics and hospitals that support clinical placements for nursing students, new graduates and returning nurses. We will also remove barriers to qualified licensed nurses moving to California from other states and other countries."

    I am a returning nurse. Or, I am trying to be. I am struggling to cut through the red tape of overwhelming obstacles of bureaucracy to return to nursing.

    Currently, the Board of Registered Nursing states that for a former nurse to be licensed in California, he/she must first obtain an active license (reactivate a former license) in another state.

    Other states' requirements under the same conditions provide avenues for re-licensure via methods including retaking the Nursing Boards (NCLEX) exam or taking a nursing refresher course, or taking a specified number of continuing education credits, doing volunteer health activities, etc. California does not accept any of these methods.

    Personally, although I have not had an active license since 1994, I have three college degrees and 20 years of nursing experience. I have volunteered to take a refresher course, take the NCLEX, and have already taken well over 120 hours of California-approved continuing education units.

    However, in order to be licensed as a registered nurse in California, I must now pay a $265 fee to reapply for a license in Alaska. Then, I must retake the NCLEX (per the Alaska board), pay for a flight to Alaska to appear before the board, incur hotel and ground transportation charges, (approximate total cost $2,000, which I cannot afford) all to obtain a license in Alaska (a state in which I will never live or work again). Then the California Board of Registered Nursing will consider licensing me here.

    It's no wonder there's a nursing shortage crisis in this state. Bottom line is, the board is not nurse-friendly. That makes the state responsible for the shortage, despite the new nurse/patient ratio (which I enthusiastically applaud) mandate.

    In my experience, former nurses who would like to return to nursing, when meeting these unrealistically overwhelming obstacles, will take a big sigh and give up. Disheartened and defeated, they will find another career.

    Please, Gov. Davis, if you really want to improve health care for our residents, if you really want to increase the number of RN's in California, don't overlook one of this state's most valuable resources, and remove this major impediment. Soon you'll hear the enthusiastic cheers of "We're baaaack!"

    SUSAN MANCHESTER Coronado
  5. by   live4today
    I, too, am looking at returning to nursing after an almost five year sabbatical taken for medical reasons. I have a current nursing license, but need to sign up for a refresher course which I plan to do after we move from Texas. We are a military family with less than a year left in Texas, so I don't want to waste my time settling in to a job, then having to leave it so soon after hiring. It wouldn't be fair to the staff or myself.

    To Susan:

    I use to live and work in Alaska and California, and neither state is easy to get licensed in, but I did. Yes, you pay a pretty penny to do so, but if you are going to become a permanent resident in California, you may want to go ahead and invest in your nursing future there. Best of everything to you!
  6. by   Brownms46
    Hi Repat,

    Welcome back to nursing, and to the board! Everyday I see nurses who have been away for it coming back. I have seen many hospitals that have internship programs not only for new grads, but for returning nurses also. Check out the hospitals in your area, as I'm sure you will find some that will be glad to help you become a skilled nurse again.

    Best wishes, and much success in your desire to return to nursing.
  7. by   Repat
    Hi everyone! Thanks for the notes - I am astonished about the CA experience. I thought KY was tough asking for 150 CEU's even though I have current licenses in two other states, but I'll take KY over CA any day! And thanks for the encouragement, Brownie. I have just written to the hospitals here, and plan a phone campaign next week. Will let you know what happens!
    Repat
  8. by   Brownms46
    Hi Repat...!

    You're most welcome! YES...please let us know how things go. I hope you have great news very soon.

    GO GET EM!
  9. by   Repat
    Here I go - two interviews next week, both in hospitals that offer new grad/returner internships. Now the nerves set in, but I'm psyched!
  10. by   jcooper
    To all,
    I am also trying to make a return to nursing. However, in my area of VA., nobody seems to offer nurse refreshser/internship programs. I am thinking of writing up a proposal, and going to the different nursing schools, and hopefully something will get started. I have been out for 10 yrs., to be at home with my children. So I would not feel comfortable on a unit without some update on skills etc. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Any info on programs that are available in other states would be helpful in the write up of my proposal. Also to Susan. I had the same problem in CA. What I did was apply for a New Jersey license. So with my active New Jersey license I was able to get my CA. license. It was much more cost effective. Good luck.
  11. by   Brownms46
    Hey Repat,

    How's it going? I missed your last post, and didn't get ot congradulate you! I hope all is well and you're doing wonderfully..
  12. by   jevans
    Hi Repat
    I work in a small unit that cares for stroke patients- we have employed 2 back to nursing staff with excellent results.

    In fact for recruitment the manager and myself are going to target those particular nurses at the next intake by giving them an opportunity to develop skills

    Best of luck and wishing you a successful return
    j
  13. by   zudy
    Hi REPAT!!! Welcome back!! Hope everything goes well for you! In the hospital that i work in there is an RN refresher course for returning nurses that seems to work well. I have never been out of nusing, this is all I've ever done. Good luck ! Let us know how it goes!
  14. by   Repat
    Hi everyone!! Great to hear from you all. I am now working on a 35 bed telemetry unit - talk about in at the deep end! The staff and administrators have been incredibly supportive. I have just been taken off of orientation, and although there are many things I still need to do, I feel that I can at least care competently for the lower acuity patients on the floor. July will bring a disrhythmia class that I am looking forward to, then critical care classes in the fall and ACLS eventually. I love being back - the hospital has been fabulous about offering education and great back up. I can't believe how busy it is, and sometimes I wonder if I am too old to keep up the pace, but then I have a really together shift and I feel better. I am working a Work on Weekends program, and I look forward to my five days off after two twelves on the weekends! So, to anyone thinking about it, if you've been gone a while the return to nursing classes are a godsend. Talk to the area hospitals - the ones here at least seem very open to helping you back on your feet!

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