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

  1. 0
    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
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 5,995 Views
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 20 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    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.
    Sarah G and lindarn like this.
  6. 6
    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.
    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.
  7. 1
    Search refesher course in all nurses. There is some good advice. Good luck. The situation sucks, I totally agree with you. You can also try volunteering. I did at HIV clinic, it helped get me a job.
    mz.snuggly1 likes this.
  8. 1
    I can see taking a refresher course if you have been out of nursing for seven years, I can not see taking one when you only graduated two years ago. The majority of your learning and introduction to the role of a functioning nurse takes place on the job anyway. Adding the course to your resume has a limited effect, as your conversations with hiring managers has already shown.
    DNS on the go likes this.
  9. 2
    It might be worth the refresher course just to network. Are the clinicals in a hospital you might like to work at? If so, then take the refresher and network network network! Get good references fromn the instructors and make friends with everyone in your class and all the employees on the floors you do your clinical at. Sometimes it is who you know, rather than what you know.
  10. 4
    Girl! First off. What a bunch of BS!! You mean to tell me 4 years of college and how much money you spent that you are not ready for an entry level position? Take any position you can get! I don't think I would be spending more money at your point. I am in the same boat. 09 grad, bsn, good gpa. I took the first crappy job i could find, but I love what I am doing and made about 50k last year.
    DNS on the go, joanna73, chevyv, and 1 other like this.
  11. 7
    If you're willing to relocate, why not find a nice armpit of a town that's desperate for a warm body with a nursing license? A nice small hospital in the middle of nowhere will give you all kinds of experience you can never get in a big-city hospital where everything is specialized.

    Yes, it will be a bit nerve-wracking but it can't be much worse than the LTC jobs other new grads are taking. Every day I read posts from new grads being thrown to the wolves and live in fear of losing their newly-minted licenses.

    A year or two where other nurses aren't willing to go will not hurt your resume. Assuming such places even exist anymore. If I were in your shoes I would explore the idea.
  12. 2
    Are you just looking into hospitals? Why not try nursing homes or subacute areas or clinics? It's worth a try. I have friends that are working nursing homes while they look for a hospital job.
    RN In FL and DNS on the go like this.
  13. 0
    Also you have to have a certain amount of hours worked within the last year or two with a certain patient population ( critical care, med/surg etc) to even SIT for a cert exam.

    I would just keep applying for jobs, maybe not be picky take what you can get. Good luck.


Top