RN Refresher or Exam Prep Course

  1. Hello, I have a question about whether I should take an RN refresher course or just an exam prep course. I qualified in the UK in 2001 as a Pediatric RN. I worked in the OR at a children's Hospital. I came to the US in 2009 but was not successful with the NCLEX and after 5 attempts and the Kaplan course for international nurses, I gave up trying. I have not practiced as an RN for about 7 years, however, I have somewhat remained in the line of health care work. I spent 3 years working as a caregiver and the past 4 years as a Health Service Manager for an Early Learning Program (very similar to a school nurse but more paperwork). I really want to return to nursing. The state I am living in does not require for me to take a RN refresher course, they just want me to pass the exam and I can continue taking it as many times as needed. However, since my training and experience was all specialized in Pediatrics I feel that I definitely need some sort of review. I have been considering the Hurst and NCSBN review courses but I am wondering if doing an RN refresher would be more beneficial. Would a refresher really prepare me for the exam? Should I do the refresher and then a exam course after that? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   rnrefresheraustin
    I took a Nurse Refresher course in Stafford, Texas I do not think the course would prepare you for the NCLEX. It was great but, really focused on preparing you for a return to safe clinical practice. No test or quiz emphasis except for enough Math and Pharmacology to ensure you could pass a work quiz. One of the instructors called it brushing off the cobwebs.
    I would suggest you do a NCLEX review where they will look at your previous exams and what areas you are deficient. There are several local ones that are in person. I think if you google nurse refresher program Houston you should find it. I think I cannot write a link according to the rules. I do not know Dr. Umeh Johnson but, several LVNs at my job have used her and passed.
  4. by   julieanne1980
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I am in Washington and have looked at options. I am a single parent that homeschools my kids and work full time so I think a self paced online course would be best for me. For the last few months I have been studying my Kaplan course books, library books and Khan acadamy. I know I am weak in content because my training was only in pediatrics so am thinking Hurst will be a good course to take.
  5. by   WestCoastSunRN
    Where in Washington do you live? I live in Oregon and just completed an RN Reentry course. It includes 160 hours of clinicals-- which honestly is the best thing you can do in a reentry course, IMO. I know a lot of nurses are licensed in both Oregon and Washington, so I'm wondering if you could get licensed easier in Oregon and then get your Washington license via endorsement? I did not have to re-take the NCLEX as a part of my reentry. There were tests and assignments during the course. It was through Health and Educational Consultants.
  6. by   julieanne1980
    Thanks for the info. Im in Whatcom County, but I found out I can't take the refresher course. The state won't give me a temporary license for the clinical portion. They said once I pass the NCLEX then I can take the course. My reason for wanting to take the course was to help me pass the exam! To get licensed in Oregon, I still need to pass the NCLEX. I trained and worked in UK, I taken the NCLEX several times but not passed.
  7. by   WestCoastSunRN
    Oh, Julieanne, I understand now. Well I know studying for the NCLEX (especially when your educational prep was different) must be challenging. If I recall, I think someone else might have suggested a study program to you? I think this would be a great investment for you. My advice is to pass the NCLEX and then do a refresher WITH a clinical component. That can get you in the door somewhere as well as help her you up to speed skills-wise. I know this is a lot. I know it well. It's kind of like getting a jet engine off the ground -- restarting your nursing career -- it takes a whole lot of dedication and energy and patience up front.
    Also, almost all of my refresher really "felt" like review-- but I studied it hard. I spent a few weeks studying full time -- literally 8 hours a day 5/6 days a week. That didn't include the stuff I studied for critical care (that's my specialty -- did my clinical in ICU).
    My point is don't be discouraged -- it IS a lot of hard work and networking. But if you want to get back into nursing this is what it looks like. You do need good resources but you can do it!
  8. by   RhondyNurse70
    Hello there! I'm in Salem, OR. I'm looking into Health and Educational Consultants' re-entry program, since my LPN license expired in 2012. I was wondering if you could tell me a little about your experience with their program?
  9. by   USAnurse85
    @WestCoastSunRN can you tell me a bit about more about how the clinical portion of Oregon's Re-entry program works? I am going to be starting it this year at some point, but would like more specifics about how the BON chooses the clinical site/shifts. Thank you!

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