For Inactive Nurses desiring to return to the field - page 5

I would like to hear from any nurse who has been out of the field of nursing for a time, and thinking about returning. I have been inactive for four years due to a medical sabbatical, but am now... Read More

  1. by   kelzo
    Hi all!
    I am an RN that graduated in 1990 and really did not work long in the field (6 months agency) before finding a job as a nurse in pharmacy. At the time of my graduation nurses were not in demand and most of my class moved out of state to find jobs. I really have enjoyed my job in the long term care pharmacy field ( I have been here 18 years!), but always feel like I am missing something. Recently I sent out resumes to several long term care facilities in my area. I was really surprised at the interest even though I lack experience. I have taken on a per diem position because I am really not prepared to leave my other job at this time. The worst part is how completely stupid I feel most of the time. My question is this. Can someone like me re-learn these things on the fly with experience...or am I kidding myself. I have to say, this facility has been great with orientation. The nurses and nursing supervisors have been more than welcoming and have offered to help me whenever I need it. I was paired with a great nurse for approximately 2 + weeks before I went solo. But at times I must say I feel like a fraud....am I really a nurse?? I mean I know the meds (I should after working in pharmacy!), but IV's are totally different and recognizing signs and symptoms of certain diseases may be a problem, not to mention..how do I know what lab test should be ordered when certain new meds are added??!! Am I over dramatizing?? I don't know if this is simple nerves due to a new job or if I have any business being back without more education. The nurses I have worked with assure me I am doing a great job and that my feelings are no different than a new grads but I'm not sure. Feedback anyone??
  2. by   momma23
    Hi Kelzo,
    I just wanted to give you a few words of encouragement. You seem to be so conscientious and have such a strong desire to do a good job that I am sure you are. Your pharmacy experience will really help with the meds and since you really only had six months experience prior, it is kind of like you are a new grad again, but everything will come to you. It is a matter of experience and repetition and truly wanting to do a good job and learn. Sounds like you are well on your way. Good luck!
  3. by   kelzo
    Thank You Momma23 for you words of encouragement. I will say with each shift I work I do get more and more comfortable. Especially since the supervisors at this facility are so incredibly patient and helpful. It really has made the difference.
  4. by   becembrie
    I graduated from an ADN program in 1988 and began working immediately in pediatric oncology. I loved it, but after 4 years left the profession to have my three girls and work in a family business. Over the past 16 years I have wanted to return, but the time has never been right. In April our family business was sold and I began thinking about what I could do. I didn't think anyone would hire me after being out so long. I made contact with one of the nurses I worked with way back when and found that she is still on the unit. She put me in contact with the director of the unit who I also used to work with and within a week I had an interview.

    I was hired on the spot and they are adapting their fellowship program to bring me on. I will do a general orientation with the new grads, and then will work with RN's on the floor and take classes as needed to become chemo certified. I know many things have changed and I am really nervous, but I am so excited to be going back to the career I love so much.

    I am taking an IV certification class, BLS, PALS, an EKG class and a chemo and biotherapies class over the next two months. I am hoping I can get through the PALs class, that is the one that has me nervous.

    I wish anyone returning to the field luck. I think it is a great opportunity and such a rewarding profession.

    Becembrie
  5. by   melleo16
    Hello everybody Iam a board passer 1998 and I work only for a little while in the hospital.Somebody offers me a job as a private nurse in Riyahd so I grabbed the oppurtunity.Now Iam in London but not working as a nurse Iwould like to return to my field the only thing is I did not renew my license for so long and it really bothers me.It expired since 2003 pls I need Some Advise!!!!!!Thank you.
  6. by   melleo16
    Quote from julietoo
    Hi, I thought it was just me!!! I have just finished the RN refresher course in my area (ct)...And to tell you the truth I thought it would be "easy" to return to nursing. NOT. I have heard all along how we "need nurses" etc...The "hospitals are just waiting for you" This is what I have found...There is no place for an experienced RN!! We seem to be even less desirable than the new grad. When I was on a busy med/surg unit in a major teaching hospital during my clinical for the nurse refresher I knew it would take some time to "learn" all the new equipment and become familiar with the new meds. However, I felt very comfortable and ready to care for the pt's. I am very discouraged at this point. Where does the experienced nurse wanting to return to work fit in?
    It is like to me you are in the pressure cooker but wait for the result Iam sure it is a good one.
  7. by   utahmom
    I am desperately looking for an affordable LPN refresher course. I let my license lapse in 2000. I've looked up a few sites on the internet but haven't found one that I like. There is an online course with a college that's over 70 miles away but it's over $3000. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  8. by   lindarn
    Quote from RN28MD
    I tried going back PRN TOO but no luck. They say that I have been out of nursing too long that it would cause the hospital more money to train me when I will only be giving then a small amt of hrs. I am still looking around but it sucks to have to drive 1hr away from home when my local hospital I use to work at is only 15min away.
    UH!
    wish me luck
    And how much money does it cost them to orient new grads? Alot more than orienting you and having you up to speed in half the time of a new grad!!

    Lindarn, RN, BSN
    Spokane, Washington
  9. by   lindarn
    Quote from lindarn
    And how much money does it cost them to orient new grads? Alot more than orienting you and having you up to speed in half the time of a new grad!!

    Lindarn, RN, BSN
    Spokane, Washington
    And another thing, if there is such a "nursing shortage", why aren't hospitals stepping up to the plate, and offering to provide refresher classes to older RNs who want to return to work? In exchange for working there for x number of months, years. Just like they offer new grads- work and training in exchange for a guaranteed amount of work. Instead if expecting older nurses to pay, up front, for these, "refresher courses", out of their own pockets. Do new grads pay for their orientations? Of course not. Its a no brainer. So why are older nurses who left the bedside and work, expected to pay for "refresher classes", to get back up to speed?

    It seems, as I stated above, that bringing older, experienced, nurses up to speed in a fraction of the time it would take to get a new grad in the same position of compentancy, that they would be knocking each other out to put together "educational, older nurse, return to work" packages. They are always crying about finances in hospitals, and how much money they need. I would think that this would be a priority for them as a cost saving measure. Or am I missing something? Is it the sound of nursing postions being sucked dry for new grads and foreign nurses? Or is it the sound of administration using just another method of controlling nurses to keep them powerless?

    Prevent experienced nurses, who have already "been around the block", from "contaminating" the "wet behind the ears", new grads, with revolutionary talk about staffing ratios, respect, pay, benefits, etc. Decide for yourself. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  10. by   sanfrancisco49
    Hi Meleo16. I don't know what state you're licensed, but in CA., you don't have to retake your license until it has expired for 7 years. You would just apply to have the license reinstated with up to date CE units. Just in case you're in a different state, call the BON of your state and ask them what you need to do. Good luck.
  11. by   lindarn
    Quote from sanfrancisco49
    Hi Meleo16. I don't know what state you're licensed, but in CA., you don't have to retake your license until it has expired for 7 years. You would just apply to have the license reinstated with up to date CE units. Just in case you're in a different state, call the BON of your state and ask them what you need to do. Good luck.
    Thank you for you support. My licenses has never been inactive- I have maintained active licensure for the entire time that I have not worked. I have also maintained currency in BLS and ACLS. I attend the National Teaching Institute Critical Care Symposium sponsored by the AACN, and earn 30 -40 CEUs every year.

    As you can see, I have been active and there is no reason why I cannot get hired. i just got another letter telling me that they do not want to hire me and will look elsewhere for potential applicants. What can I say?

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  12. by   sanfrancisco49
    Hi LindaRN. My previous thread, above yours, was in reply to another person that posted (Meleo16). As for your situation, it seems you've been away from nursing but have kept your license up to date; what you probably need is a refresher course that includes clinical experiences/exposure in a hospital setting. If you are in the bay area, I can refer you to the institution that offers this. Good luck.
  13. by   GeorgiaBoy61
    Scooter:

    You have run up against a reality in the field, that there is an increasingly high wall between acute care and other types of nursing. May states are considering adding re-education requirements to their NP Acts, before inactive nurses can return to the acute care environment. This trend is driven by the fear of lawsuits, on one hand, but also by the academic establishment in nursing that sees a chance to make a buck. OJT is fine, some of the time anyway, but nurse educators won't vote against their pocketbooks.

    I got my RN in 2004, worked briefly as a med-surg nurse, but had to leave the field d/t medical reasons, a hiatus that became 3 years. I took a refresher course, because I could not get employers to take me seriously otherwise. That's the sad reality we face.

    My view is that we cannot solve the nursing shortage if we continue to erect so many obstacles in the way of those trying to enter the profession. They'll go where the pay is better and the conditions less onerous.

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For Inactive Nurses desiring to return to the field