Is an RN refresher course even worth it at this point? - page 2

by I Am ReadyRN

6,589 Views | 20 Comments

Hey everyone, I'm having a dilemma and I need some input. I finished nursing school with honors (BSN) and received my license from the summer of '09 and have been looking for RN work since then. Unfortunately, the same year I... Read More


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    I appreciate all of the advice, the thing is, I am applying for less desirable jobs like nursing homes and like I had already mentioned, I am looking at other areas to work. So far, the nursing homes aren't calling but I'm still trying.
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    Plasma centers, dialysis centers, ltc. , Rehab, youth facilities...apply apply apply!!!! Call call call....! Good luck!!!
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    Quote from I Am ReadyRN
    Hey everyone, I'm having a dilemma and I need some input. I finished nursing school with honors (BSN) and received my license from the summer of '09 and have been looking for RN work since then. Unfortunately, the same year I left nursing school, many hospitals in my area started shutting down and as you all know at the same time hospitals and other facilities started cracking down on the amount of new grads they were hiring and the competition has become stiff, unfortunately, a little too stiff for me as I am still looking for my first nursing job

    The other day, I went to a job fair and was told by some places that I've become “stale” and should consider looking into taking a refresher course since there was no way I'd be able to compete with the new grads coming out this year (and let's not forget last year ) I was preparing myself for that possibility although it's a shame I never even gotten the chance to use my nursing skills before I have to freshen up on them again The thing is, I've heard mixed feelings about getting a refresher course, some recruiters saying that they find them impressive and others saying that it didn't make a difference and wasn't worth the effort

    I've done my research and found an accredited refresher course and it seems pretty good (it has clinicals included with preceptor placement and everything). The course is over $2,000 and I want to make sure that if I go through this course, I will have a good chance at getting a job (or at least be competitive enough with the new grads coming out this year) since I will have to spend money I shouldn't even be spending for this course Has anyone done this or have an idea of what the best plan of action for me is? I am also willing to relocate at this point.

    TIA

    Signed, a very nervous old "new" nurse
    I was too graduated in 09 with ADN. Now working toward RN/BSN. I know how frustrating it is for you try to find a job in this market. Don't give up though because after looking for many months, I got a job offer recently. I think it is God's doing for me to get this job offer. I am thrilled and cannot wait to start. Now I am waiting for the background check to go through before they let me start the orientation. 2000 dollars for a refresher course is quite lots of money. Many nurse recruiters I spoke too at the hospital were very discouraging. They told me I might not able to work at hospital because they usually offer the job to the internal applicants first. After they told me this, I felt my day was over. No way will I get hire in the hospital as long as they have this kind of nurse recruiters around. Here is my thought! I don't know your marital status. If you single, I suggest consider join the Navy? I know some friends who used to be Navy nurses. They got out because they got married and have a family. If you don't have that responsibility, it would be perfect for you. I know I would if I was single and no kid. Consider all the benefits that come with it. Just the thought!
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    I love all the honest comments!!! Take anything you can get and get recommendation letters. There are jobs out there if you want them. I just took a job with Mollen Immuniations giving flu shots at Wal Mart for $20 hr. Its all good!
    Good luck.
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    2k seems a bit high (though not outlandish)for an RN refresher - though may not be for your region. I checked around me - UMDNJ was about 1300, university of Delaware was less than a grand. Furthermore, i don't think it's vital to get a job. You graduated 3 years ago - not 30. It may behoove you to take some classes that would make you a bit more marketable if you haven't already - ACLS,
    PALS etc would be enticing, as would a class in tele monitoring. Don't give up - you will get a job- just need to stay positive!
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    I was in a similar situation than you recently. '09 graduate, never worked as a nurse. Started applying in January to positions. A few weeks ago I revamped my resume in more of a skills based, professional format rather than the typical nursing templates you see. I got an interview for the first position I applied for with that new resume and just today a job offer. It's no stupid job either, I think I am actually going to love this.

    During my interview they stated they weren't worried at all that this would be my first nursing job. They were more impressed with my customer service and computer skills and I had many others on there that made me stand out to them. They also stated that the fact I hadn't worked as a nurse yet gives them the opportunity to train me in their own way.

    As others have said, I think a refresher would be a waste of money. Make your resume stand out and apply, apply, apply. Good luck!
    joanna73 likes this.
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    Quote from tokmom
    Seems rather excessive to me. Heck, I was out for almost 5 yrs (16 yr under my belt) and never required a refresher. I didn't feel like I lost that many skills. My weak area were the new meds that had come out.

    Why not get certified for a lot less money? It looks good on a resume, and it is a refresher course as well.
    My reply is late but I'm looking at nurse refresher courses, and the situation is different for those who have never had nursing experience beyond their clinicals compared to those who have actual hospital experience.
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    Quote from rnMomm
    I love all the honest comments!!! Take anything you can get and get recommendation letters. There are jobs out there if you want them. I just took a job with Mollen Immuniations giving flu shots at Wal Mart for $20 hr. Its all good!
    Good luck.
    As someone in this position who attempted to get a flu shot job. I even had on my resume that I gave volunteer flu shots at one of the biggest hospitals in the area. They still wanted someone with experience. I hope this works for someone else
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    Quote from OCNRN63
    Certified in what? Certification indicates you have a certain level of expertise in a specialty; it's not a refresher. Certification requirements differ from one specialty to another, but they all require a certain amount of experience. If someone hasn't worked at all, it's kind of hard to meet that requirement. I've seen people give this suggestion before, and it always befuddles me. You can't present yourself as having expertise if you've never worked.

    To the OP: A refresher course couldn't hurt and it might help. If you can afford it, I'd say do it.
    My bad OCNRN. I know this as I'm certified. Excuse me, please.

    OP, do you have an update?
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    Yeah, I worked for Mollen this year too and facilities don't really care about this type of experience. I recently interviewed at a rehab/LTC facility and the ADON asked if I had experience and I said "I worked at a retail flu clinic" and she said "oh, but no hospital or floor experience?".... I didn't get that position. I don't know if it was for lack of experience or what, but the manager spoke as if she wanted to hire me during the interview, but then she never returned my follow up calls (which I find very rude. What is with the rudeness in healthcare?! That's for another post)....

    In any event, it's nice to have the flu clinic experience of interacting with the public, but that's about all it does as far as furthering your nursing career, IMO. I'm a year out of school with no nursing job and I'm getting worried now. I applied for many local openings and for 2 of out of state new grad positions just to see what would happen. So far, I received one notice that I didn't get selected. I'll keep applying. I have a compact license and I'm single with no kids. I want to go to graduate school too, but I would like to work at least 1 day as a floor RN before starting another nursing program I will stay positive, though.


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