Return to nursing after more than a decade? - page 2

Hi all, I'm new here and looking for advice. I got my BSN back in 1992. Worked for about 4 years in a hospital pediatric unit then went to prn status for awhile. Then worked for about a year for an... Read More

  1. Visit  Curious1alwys} profile page
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    Quote from notsurewhattodo
    I just do not want to be 50 years old and going back to get that Refresher course (if I am ever going to). So I feel like time is ticking.
    LOL, almost all my fellow classmates were 45+. We even had one 70 yr old!!!

    I totally get the staying home and losing your mind thing with kids. I frequently tell my husband that if I could get a calm office job that working full time would be soooooo much easier. Working full time in nursing probably too, after the first few crazy stress years. Oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it too, LOL

    There is always time. Do what you think is right and don't look back (or atleast try not to, LOL)..
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  3. Visit  notsurewhattodo} profile page
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    Thanks again for the replies. My son is at school all day, which is why I am able to do the part-time PCA job. Yes, we have to keep our sanity, lol.
  4. Visit  notsurewhattodo} profile page
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    Quote from mayoh
    Contact me for private advice
    How do I do that? I looked around and do not see a "private message" option anywhere?
    Would you be willing to post your advice here on the forums so we can all benefit?
  5. Visit  chris richter} profile page
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    I am doing the same thing: Have been out of nursing since 1997: worked psych and public health so not much actual medical experience. Am looking to get into school, clinic, or possibly public health nursing again. Would love to do patient navigation but with no recent experience...not sure. Lots of questions to get answered.
  6. Visit  chris richter} profile page
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    And, I am going to be 53 in April, so not too late for anyone if they are motivated.
  7. Visit  chris richter} profile page
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    And, I am going to be 53 in April, so not too late for anyone if they are motivated. I start an RN refresher course next week! Have owned a coffeehouse and gift shop for the past 6 years and am ready to move on. Will post an update on how the refresher course is going.
    somenurse likes this.
  8. Visit  TestifyToLove} profile page
    2
    I realize my situation is abnormal. For starters, while I was out of paycheck nursing for 14 years, I was still using my nursing skills as a medical foster and adoptive mother. When I decided to revive my licensure, I had to submit a TON of CEs for my original licensure state plus fingerprints and a $150 fee. I got lucky. My state did not require a refresher course and counted college courses to the tune of 14 CEs per credit hour. I was able to count my Biology and my Sociology of Medicine courses to fulfill my entire CE requirement to reinstate my licensure.

    I had moved long ago from my state of original licensure. However, to transfer to my current state, I needed only to have an active license elsewhere. My previous state had a work hour requirement or required a refresher course. I was prepared to take a refresher course but we moved and I didn't need to do so. Took me several months, 2 more specific CE courses and another licensure fee to get licensure in my current state of residence.

    At that point, I worked my contacts. I knew that a recruiter looking at my resume was going to throw it out and never give it a second look. I used references all in the medical field, all who had personally observed me using my nursing skills with the foster and adoptive children. One of them was a physician of my child, a second was one of my children's primary nurse in the hospital setting.

    Then, I looked for job listings that fit my experience and background to match what areas I worked without a paycheck all those years.

    I got *very* lucky. The Nursing Manager for one of my children's speciality clinics listed a position specifically looking for a nurse with in-depth knowledge of the very medical condition my child has. Before I even applied for the job, I called her personally. It was a part-time job and the hours were not clear on the listing. I needed her to see *me* and not the weak resume. I also needed to be assured I could work part-time, not just for the permenant position but in the orientation process as well.

    Because the manager knew me, had observed me utilizing my nursing skills, spoke with me directly before I submitted my resume, I had a HUGE advantage. She strictly informed me on the phone that the personal connection would ONLY guarantee me the interview and a quick pass from the screening process. However, as luck would have it the morning after I interviewed, my child had a medical crisis and she observed me in full nursing mode. I strongly suspect that it was that coincidental encounter where she could see me in my element that landed me the job.

    All that said, I am now a part-time Infusion Nurse for an outpatient infusion center. I did not have to return to Med/Surg. I didn't not have to sink into LTC facilities (where I would rather never return to nursing than enter). There was a LOT I was out of practice on. There was a lot that fit like a glove too. You don't lose your nursing as much as you THINK you do. For years, I tried to hide was a nurse. Everytime I encountered the medical professions, I attempted to be percieved as a knowledgable advocate and mother and NOT a nurse. It never worked. It never took more than one encounter for both doctors and nurses to immediately recognize I was a nurse. It is true that nursing has changed and progressed in the years I was home, but it's also true that it is easy to adapt and catch onto the changes.

    In my general nursing orientation (prior to my unit orientation), I was one of THREE nurses returning after significant absences from the profession. All three of us utilized the same basic concept to secure jobs. We used existing contacts with people who knew us to network for a job position.

    With a special needs son and having worked as a home health aide now, you HAVE those contacts. Have you asked your Nursing Manager if your current company would hire you as a nurse instead of an aide if you pursued renewing your licensure? I interviewed for a home health aide job two years ago, before I found a way to salvage my nursing license, and the hiring manager made it VERY clear that he would hire me as an aide but he would personally push and encourage me to restore my licensure and would hire me as a nurse if I was able to accomplish that feat. He stated all of that before I even worked for him. I suspect your current employer would support allowing you to advance back to nursing if you sought reinstatement. With a special needs child, I suspect you have other personal connections you could network as well.

    I had to come back to the concept of restoring my licensure four times before I saw how to accomplish it and had the confidence to believe I could not only do it but secure a job that fit the needs of my family when I did it. Now, I have a job that fits my needs perfectly--both professionally and for my family. I am starting my BSN this week and am contemplating if I want to remain in nursing and seek advanced practice, or enter academia. The first two times I came to this puzzle, the ONLY answer I could see was an emphatic NO, that the task was impossible. The third time, I realized it might be possible but believed I could NEVER find employment even if I accomplished it.

    I now realize why people kept telling me "once a nurse, always a nurse" in the years I tried to conceal my background. There are a LOT of medications I don't know at this point. There are new practice techniques I never saw when I worked as a nurse or went to school years ago. However, I found my footing quickly. My department AND my hospital embraced me as a seasoned nurse. It felt ackward to hear myself refered to in that manner given how non-traditional my trajectory was all those years. However, we had a new graduate intern in our clinic this last week and I realized immediately WHY everyone considered me seasoned. She may have just graduated and her skills are up to date, her pharmacology is grilled into her brain from taking the NCLEX. However, her skills in seeing a whole picture, and responding appropriately and calmly didn't exist....not yet. I came back with those skills neve gone, even if it took me nearly a month to convert the butterfly push skills I have done for a decade into consistently successful saline locs to run longer IVs.
    ShirleyMc and traumaRUs like this.
  9. Visit  Shar88} profile page
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    Hi there! I also haven't worked since 2001 because of family issues. I have two boys with autism and raising them has taken all my time. I got my BSN back in 1996 and worked for two years in endoscopy before deciding on my hiatus. They are now 12 and 13 years old and I felt it was time to go back to work hopefully part time and help pay for some of their services. I live in Southern CA and took a refresher course here. Did very well and the nurses that precepted me for clinicals even gave me references for my job hunt but so far no luck. Unfortunately I live in a nurse saturated area and no one wants to hire RN's with gaps in their career. It has been very frustrating but I'm still looking. It really depends on what area you live in. Other graduates from the refresher course who live farther away have been able to find jobs. I also totally understand where you are coming from about not wanting to take any time away from your son. That's what I am wrestling with now as I know they still need me and working full time may not be a good option. Best of luck with your decision's and I hope all goes well. Take care!
  10. Visit  notsurewhattodo} profile page
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    Thank you so much Testify and Shar for sharing your stories with me. So much of what you have said sounds just like how I feel.
    Testify, I've thought of asking my supervisor at the home health agency I work for if there would be a job for me if I got my license back. Guess I'm just scared to ask, as that would mean actually saying it out loud.
    I think if it came down to it my current supervisor would give me a good reference as would the nurse who takes care of my patient. She and I have gotten to know one another really well and she has encouraged me to get my license back. She is with a different agency.
    I think I'm scared and do not want to ruin things here at home. I don't really have to work. I just want to. It did me a lot of good to read your stories.

    Shar, good luck finding a job. I'm sure something will come along for you soon.
  11. Visit  elprup} profile page
    0
    Quote from Shar88
    Hi there! I also haven't worked since 2001 because of family issues. I have two boys with autism and raising them has taken all my time. I got my BSN back in 1996 and worked for two years in endoscopy before deciding on my hiatus. They are now 12 and 13 years old and I felt it was time to go back to work hopefully part time and help pay for some of their services. I live in Southern CA and took a refresher course here. Did very well and the nurses that precepted me for clinicals even gave me references for my job hunt but so far no luck. Unfortunately I live in a nurse saturated area and no one wants to hire RN's with gaps in their career. It has been very frustrating but I'm still looking. It really depends on what area you live in. Other graduates from the refresher course who live farther away have been able to find jobs. I also totally understand where you are coming from about not wanting to take any time away from your son. That's what I am wrestling with now as I know they still need me and working full time may not be a good option. Best of luck with your decision's and I hope all goes well. Take care!
    Shar, what refresher course did you take? I am looking into a few.
  12. Visit  notsurewhattodo} profile page
    2
    Well it's been almost a year since I started this thread. I think the time is right now and I've enrolled in a Nurse Refresher course that starts in January. I'm scared to death but excited. Wish me luck!
    slyoung2004 and Curious1alwys like this.
  13. Visit  aywl} profile page
    2
    Quote from Curious1alwys

    LOL, almost all my fellow classmates were 45+. We even had one 70 yr old!!!

    I totally get the staying home and losing your mind thing with kids. I frequently tell my husband that if I could get a calm office job that working full time would be soooooo much easier. Working full time in nursing probably too, after the first few crazy stress years. Oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it too, LOL

    There is always time. Do what you think is right and don't look back (or atleast try not to, LOL)..
    Your post gives me hope, I am not the oldest one to go to school;
    slyoung2004 and Curious1alwys like this.
  14. Visit  sarahaldean} profile page
    2
    I am a reentry nurse as well. I just started a job in labor and delivery after an eight year break. I looked for five months before I got my job. I also live in southern California. It is a tough market. Look as far north as you can. Luckily I got a job only 25 minutes from where I live bit I applied as far as Irvine and Anaheim.
    slyoung2004 and Curious1alwys like this.


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