Job Ideas for unlicensed RN?

  1. I had 15 years experience as an RN in a major teaching hospital and also worked a couple of years for an insurance company as an authorization nurse. I have been out of the field for 8 years and let my license expire. My husband and I thought we were in a position to retire. As it turns out, we have had some bad economic luck and we are both going to need to return to work.

    I have thought about reinstating my license, but that would take at least 4 months of extensive learning/clinical, plus costs a nice chunk of change. On top of that, I don't know if I am up for the hard work at my age.

    I am looking for ideas of career options for unlicensed nurses. I've thought of medical transcription, working as a chart analyst for a medical malpractice firm, or being a research assistant (though maybe only grad students in science get those jobs). Does anyone have any ideas for a job that I could train for quickly and that would pay more than minimum wage? Thanks!
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    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 6


  3. by   daisybaby
    Tough one. Since your license expired, you are no longer Registered. So legally and ethically, you can't market yourself as an RN, even if you tack on 'unlicensed'. Nursing-related jobs in a law firm, health insurance company, or state agency will require current licensure, even if you never step foot in a clinical setting again.

    Research assistant or medical transcription work might not be challenging enough for someone who has had the experience you've had (although this is certainly certainly no slight to those who hold those positions).

    Also, in an interview for any job, you'd have to be prepared to answer a) why you let your licene lapse, and b) why you're not willing to do what it takes to reinstate it.

    It would be time- and cost-intensive to reinstate your license, but consider your earning capacity with current licensure as compared to not having it. I don't mean to sound pessimistic or negative, I just think in the long run, you'll be helping yourself out much more financially if you jump back in the trenches for a little while. I think you'll be surprised at how much you've retained. If your care has always been based on safe and conscientious practice (and I'm sure it has), your skills will come back quickly.

    Good luck!
  4. by   nurseaboveboard
    Hi. Sorry for your situation. I think daisybaby gives some good advice. Also, I think I have actually seen re-entry/refresher programs advertised, where a facility will pay for it if you go to work for them. I do not claim to know how these work, however, I wish you all the luck!
  5. by   neonatal3
    As a fellow reitired registered nurse,I can certainly understand your concern about study again in a nurse refresher course and your concern cost of a refresher course. In addition, I agree with your concern about a return to the often physically demanding work of nursing after retirement.

    There ARE some interesting non-nursing and (to me) health related jobs out there! I was required to retire from nursing due to health problems. After retirement , I am learning there is some adventure and some income available if one works in the non-nursing world. So far my non-nursing jobs have included work as a staff member in a shelter for victims of domestic violence, work as a telephone solicitor asking volunteers to donate blood at the American Red Cross, and currently work as a child care provider in a day care center.

    Yes, these non-nursing jobs pay less than the current high pay of many professional nursing jobs, but the non-nursing work is also much less demanding for folks of retirement age and/or folks with medical problems. Good luck to you!