Possibly entering the work force after 9 years?

  1. Okay I'm sure I'm not alone here. But feeling overwhelmed by everything so I thought I would make my own post. I hope this isn't too redundant. If you've all answered these questions a million times over, I sincerely apologize. I am simply surrendering though, I just don't know where to start with this journey.

    I graduated with a BSN in 2008, I was 23 at the time. Took the NCLEX one time (in NYS), did not pass. I was a good student, got decent grades, overall did well in school. But those months after graduation I just felt a huge disconnect. I didn't put everything I had into studying. I didn't think I was in the field for the right reasons, I didn't think I was good enough. And so on and so forth..At that point in time I had a lot of existential crises happening, you know, blah blah.

    Let's fast forward 8.5 years later. Here I am. I am now a Licensed Massage Therapist, which I actually love a lot. I kind of became an LMT to try to see if I could bridge the gap with the amount of time you get to spend with patients. One of my issues with nursing (granted I know I was only ever a student nurse) was that I felt rushed with each patient. I wanted more time to spend with patients. I thought massage therapy would be a great way to focus individually on clients and really be able to connect. My goal with massage was to bring it to medical settings to promote relaxation in a stressful environment.
    I have been doing hospice massage as a volunteer for awhile now and absolutely love it. I also work at a spa as my "regular" massage job, which has its ups and downs. But being in the hospice setting has lately made me feel more drawn to nursing again. As I get older I also can't help but feel drawn to a more stable career path. Massage certainly has a lot of great points, but it is not a super stable income. I don't have any benefits either. I mean I knew that going in, but here I am feeling a little more pressure to have more stability in my life.

    I am thinking about attempting to re-take the NCLEX and maybe see if I can just keep my options open in regards to possibly re-entering the Nursing world. Aside from pathology, A&P, kinesiology that I studied while in my 1000 hour massage program, I really haven't done anything with this information in nearly all the time since graduating. I haven't studied meds, nursing theory, anything. So if you were me, where would you start? I do plan on contacting the NYS Board of Nursing to see if I need a refresher course to take the NCLEX. Even if I didn't need a refresher course, I would take one anyway. Because I haven't set foot on a floor in almost 9 years and it would probably be like the very first day of med-surg clinical all over again.

    Would you - take a refresher course first, take an NCLEX review course, then attempt the exam? How long do you think I should allot for studying/refreshing before taking the exam? I know everyone is different and it really depends on how motivated you are. Well I would be willing to even dedicate a full year to studying before I felt comfortable taking the exam again. I could continue doing my massage and also dedicate many hours/week to studying. I think it's probably doable right? What percentage of people who do this actually succeed? Does anyone know? Also, does anyone know if my chances of getting hired again are pretty limited based on all this time off? I guess I'm looking for anyone who has any stories to share, advice, suggestions. I really believe my heart is still in the right place - to nurture and help others. At 23 I just didn't know what my life was, or what I wanted.

    Any thoughts or suggestions or stories or advice is all welcome. If you've made it this far reading, god thank you for staying with me!! <3 to all of you.

    Donna
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   midgeypoo
    Hi Donna: thanks for sharing your story.

    Not sure if you suspended your license or what - but before you make all kinds of plans I'd check with your state's BON as to what requirements they have to reinstate your license. Go from there. Once you know what is required, then decide how you feel and what course of action is best taken. Where I worked hired a nurse who'd been out of nursing for 20 years. I was surprised on how much she needed to learn to bring her up to todays standards but she did it and is still there as a nurse.

    I'd definitely want to bring myself up to speed on nursing laws, newer procedures, and techniques. Then maybe when looking for a nursing job you could make sure you get a preceptor and all of that which is customary with most hospitals but in the case of LTC (not). I would just explain you basically are a new nurse grad.

    There are also lots of CEU's available via online/mail that you can take and many are free or low cost. Those can be quite beneficial to bring you up to speed on laws and such.

    Good luck to you in your future career.

    Malinda
  4. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from midgeypoo
    Hi Donna: thanks for sharing your story.

    Not sure if you suspended your license or what - but before you make all kinds of plans I'd check with your state's BON as to what requirements they have to reinstate your license. Go from there. Once you know what is required, then decide how you feel and what course of action is best taken. Where I worked hired a nurse who'd been out of nursing for 20 years. I was surprised on how much she needed to learn to bring her up to todays standards but she did it and is still there as a nurse.

    I'd definitely want to bring myself up to speed on nursing laws, newer procedures, and techniques. Then maybe when looking for a nursing job you could make sure you get a preceptor and all of that which is customary with most hospitals but in the case of LTC (not). I would just explain you basically are a new nurse grad.

    There are also lots of CEU's available via online/mail that you can take and many are free or low cost. Those can be quite beneficial to bring you up to speed on laws and such.

    Good luck to you in your future career.

    Malinda

    The OP never had a license as she took & failed the NCLEX once.

    I think finding out what you need to do to take the NCLEX is a great start. If I were you I would also take a refresher course. It's not cheap but since you never worked as a nurse it would be very helpful.
  5. by   caliotter3
    I think you would find that expanding your vista will be quite rewarding. You are aware that you can work in hospice as a nurse. Or, extended care home health doing shift work with only one patient. Extended care can ease your way into nursing until you feel, if you feel, that you want to try another area of nursing. Massage can be incorporated into hospice nursing and private duty nursing, should you ever go that route. Talk with other nurses, especially those who work in hospice, and find out just where you can go. Good luck with your new journey.
  6. by   dsardone
    Thank you all so much for your thoughts and words. Yes, Malinda, I did not ever practice and never held a license. I definitely plan to contact the BON for NYS and go from there. Thank you for your suggestions
    I think I will also request to shadow a hospice nurse where I volunteer (if that's possible - I have done it in the past), and to get some more clarity that way too.

    Does anyone know much about refresher courses in general? How long they are, and what they cover? I am aware they are pretty pricy. Probably they are available through certain nursing programs all over I would imagine? Just wondered if anyone had any experience/other information on them. I haven't yet researched into them yet but am planning to.
  7. by   dsardone
    Great info, thanks so much. Would you say it would be common or easy to find extended home health care with just one patient? I would imagine I would need to be hired through a home health agency, I wonder if they would hire someone like me without any prior experience though. I guess it really depends on the person and how motivated that person is I suppose. I would probably want a preceptor if I were to re-enter the field again. I like the idea of doing that, though wouldn't really know where to start. Anyway, I know one step at a time just kind of thinking ahead a little
    All the best
  8. by   dsardone
    Great info, thanks so much, caliotter3. Would you say it would be common or easy to find extended home health care with just one patient? I would imagine I would need to be hired through a home health agency, I wonder if they would hire someone like me without any prior experience though. I guess it really depends on the person and how motivated that person is I suppose. I would probably want a preceptor if I were to re-enter the field again. I like the idea of doing that, though wouldn't really know where to start. Anyway, I know one step at a time just kind of thinking ahead a little
    All the best
  9. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from dsardone
    Thank you all so much for your thoughts and words. Yes, Malinda, I did not ever practice and never held a license. I definitely plan to contact the BON for NYS and go from there. Thank you for your suggestions
    I think I will also request to shadow a hospice nurse where I volunteer (if that's possible - I have done it in the past), and to get some more clarity that way too.

    Does anyone know much about refresher courses in general? How long they are, and what they cover? I am aware they are pretty pricy. Probably they are available through certain nursing programs all over I would imagine? Just wondered if anyone had any experience/other information on them. I haven't yet researched into them yet but am planning to.
    I would look up on the NYBON to see if they have any refresher courses they recommend.

    I just looked up a refresher course that is offered by a university near me & the cost is $3,000. But definitely worth it in my opinion.
  10. by   caliotter3
    Extended care home health positions are basically routine care for stable patients in the home for shifts from 4 to as many as 16 hours. Normally at the LPN level of care. Agencies hire RNs into these positions but don't be dismayed if they want to pay at the LPN level. (A good agency will pay an RN a couple of dollars more per hour in deference to her license). Different agencies will hire with or without certain levels of experience.
  11. by   dsardone
    Thanks for the information, I really appreciate that. That could definitely be a good way to ease back into it.
  12. by   Happy Granny
    Do what you love to do and you never have to work a day in your life.

close