Advice on getting back in the OR

  1. 0
    I am a former OR nurse CNOR certified with 14 years experience. I was promoted to Orthopedic team leader a few months prior to my leaving. I quit to follow my husband to another city for his job and chose to stay at home full time with our children for the past 10 years. During that time I was completely out of nursing, let my license lapse and my CNOR certification. I am now ready to go back. Reinstating my license is no problem. Have gotten all the necessary CEUs for that and tried to do most on perioperative subjects. Know that I will have to work a certain amount of hours before I can retake CNOR exam. Also plan to be recertified in CPR before applying anywhere. Have been re-reading my Alexanders as a refresher. Am willing to take an RN refresher but the one offered locally has cancelled twice in the past year because of lack of people signing up so beginning to give up on that. My question is will anyone hire me?
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Honestly, it will probably be hard. If you live in a large metro area, then your chances may be better. What you need is an OR Fellowship, which are programs for nurses with experience who are looking to break into the OR. It's different from an internship, where they would low ball you like a new grad. We have fellowships here in Houston, but I don't know if they're offered everywhere like internships. If it came down to it, would you consider an internship? If so, they would snatch you up quickly. Good Luck and Welcome Back!
  5. 0
    Quote from favoritemumsy
    I am a former OR nurse CNOR certified with 14 years experience. I was promoted to Orthopedic team leader a few months prior to my leaving. I quit to follow my husband to another city for his job and chose to stay at home full time with our children for the past 10 years. During that time I was completely out of nursing, let my license lapse and my CNOR certification. I am now ready to go back. Reinstating my license is no problem. Have gotten all the necessary CEUs for that and tried to do most on perioperative subjects. Know that I will have to work a certain amount of hours before I can retake CNOR exam. Also plan to be recertified in CPR before applying anywhere. Have been re-reading my Alexanders as a refresher. Am willing to take an RN refresher but the one offered locally has cancelled twice in the past year because of lack of people signing up so beginning to give up on that. My question is will anyone hire me?
    I don't think you will have any problems. You are on the right track! I think it will all come back to you. Keep us posted and good luck
  6. 0
    I do live in a large metro area that has at least 6 major hospitals (one is a major teaching hospital / university). They are the one that offers the RN refresher that keeps canceling but they told me that they wouldn't hire me without it. Haven't checked with any of the other hospitals as of yet because I had made up my mind to do the refresher but I am getting tired of waiting for it.There are also at least 8 outpatient surgery centers that I know of in the area. I will look into the fellowship suggestion. And honestly I fully expect to be treated as new grad at least until I show them that I'm not : ) Thank you for the response!
    Last edit by favoritemumsy on Apr 30, '13
  7. 0
    Thank you for the response! In my dreams at night for the last 10 years I very often dream I'm at my old job so I don't think it ever left.
  8. 2
    I would just start applying, I think an RN refresher course would be geared toward floor nursing. New OR equipment would be taught during your orientation. Don't let them treat you quite like a new grad, you have 15 years experience, you are not a newbie. Have confidence and good luck.....
    canesdukegirl and 4_Sq like this.
  9. 1
    I totally agree with Sandra. I doubt you need a refresher course.

    OR RN fellowships are usually for new grads. These fellowships cover very basic material, and you would be completely bored.

    On the other hand, if you do elect to take a fellowship, you would be invaluable in teaching new nurses what you know.

    Keep us updated!
    SandraCVRN likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    I totally agree with Sandra. I doubt you need a refresher course.

    OR RN fellowships are usually for new grads. These fellowships cover very basic material, and you would be completely bored.

    On the other hand, if you do elect to take a fellowship, you would be invaluable in teaching new nurses what you know.

    Keep us updated!
    The OR internships are for new grads. The fellowships are for nurses with experience, but no OR experience. They're taught differently, and the fellowship is shorter. The biggest bonus is that they pay you based on RN experience, while they teach you something totally new. I think the OP would be fine with a preceptorship, if they still have those.
    SandraCVRN likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from SandraCVRN
    I would just start applying, I think an RN refresher course would be geared toward floor nursing. New OR equipment would be taught during your orientation. Don't let them treat you quite like a new grad, you have 15 years experience, you are not a newbie. Have confidence and good luck.....
    Thank you so much! That is what I've been thinking but it is nice to hear some encouragement from someone else. I did talk with a recruiter at the major teaching hospital in my area and she said they would NOT hire me for any OR position at their facility even with all my prior OR experience without a refresher first ( that could be because they are the facility that offers it and I would be glad to take it but they keep canceling). I have not checked with any other hospital in my area and there are several. I did a preceptorship in the OR while in nursing school and was hired by that hospital after I graduated. I went to nursing school because I wanted to work in the OR and its all I have ever done. Other than some new procedures, equipment etc. what else could be that different in 10 years. I can still recite every step from start to finish of nearly every procedure I've ever done. I feel like it would be like riding a bike just have to get back on. One thing that I know has been implemented since I left is "Time Out" and I did some CEUs on that so very familiar with it now and not all that different from what were already doing. Definitely feeling more confident. Thank you!!
    SandraCVRN likes this.
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    It did all come back! Like riding a bicycle! Had no problem at all getting hired once I actually tried. Did NOT take any refresher. The only place that required it was the hospital that offers it. Money maker for them I guess. Everyone has been so nice and I am still learning where things are and that sort of thing but it really feels like I never left : )


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