Trying to get back into the hospital after staying home with the kids.

  1. 2
    I have been a stay at home mom for almost eight years except for two years that I worked for a retail store. I enjoyed working retail but I really want to get back to nursing. I began applying four months ago. Before I became a mom I worked two years on an Ortho/Trauma floor in a level one trauma hospital. This spring I took a RN Re Entry course that was Maternity focused where I received the following certifications, BLS, ACLS, Basic Fetal Heart, and STABLE. I would like to enter the Women's Services specialty as you can tell. My problem is I am not getting any hits on my applications.

    I have called and asked for feed back from RN Recruiters and I was told that I have been out too long and just this Friday was told that by one hospital that they would hire a new grad before even considering me. I was devastated. I have found that New Grads actually have the advantage over me...Bless their hearts I know they have it rough as well.

    I am wondering if it is worth taking a general RN refresher course or what advice anyone may have. I have applied to 80-90 jobs and have gotten nowhere. Thank you nursing friends!
    icuRNmaggie and lindarn like this.

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  2. 26 Comments...

  3. 4
    I too am re-entering the workforce after a 3 year hiatus, and took a general nurse refresher, not because I was required to but because I had been away from primary nursing for a while, and felt it would help me brush up. You say that you took a re-entry course, I assumed you meant a nurse refresher. A nurse refresher will give you clinical hours as well ( I had 80) with a preceptor, I assume your re-entry course had clinical hours? Have you posted a resume on job boards? I have gotten offers to apply per email from job boards and I have been contacted by hospitals even though I haven't worked in a hospital for 15 years, as my latest experience is in Home Health. A refresher may help your job prospects, and in some states is required if you have been out of nursing for a period of time, so check with your State Board of Nursing. Job markets for nurses vary so much from location to location as per this board with saturation in some and shortages in the next. I wish you luck, and hang in there, I did and I have an interview tomorrow at a home health agency.
    Sam223, SeaH20RN, sarahaldean, and 1 other like this.
  4. 13
    As far as I am concerned, anyone who would look down on you for daring to raise your own children and put them before your career should be treated like the human flotsam they are. Scrape it off your shoe and move on!
    INFJBoo, sallyrnrrt, Sam223, and 10 others like this.
  5. 7
    Congratulations on rearing your children yourself - verrry hard work. However, now you are having the problem of having been away so long. If one can pull it off, I think it's always better to work per-diem 1 or 2 days a week and keep you foot in the hospital and not lose those skills. Eight years away is a lifetime in nursing, but nothing that can't be remediated with a refresher course.
  6. 3
    I think networking is they way to get a job when you have been out. Otherwise you kind of fall through the cracks. Also, may need to try non-acute options to get your foot in the door.
    INFJBoo, sallyrnrrt, and sarahaldean like this.
  7. 2
    I would expand your employment search...until you get working again it may be difficult to land a hospital position especially one that is specific and you have no experience in..apply to home health, gyn/ob offices, PSA (which is a peds home health agency), and at hospitals but not just for maternity positions - go for med/surg as well. Getting your foot in the door somewhere and making connections is key. Make sure all the courses you took and certifications are listed on your resume as well as online applications. Check out the job sites (indeed, monster, careerbuilder,, etc) Like most nurses these days, it takes longer to get hired anywhere so don't give up.
    INFJBoo and sarahaldean like this.
  8. 3
    You're not going to get a job in a specialty like L&D unless you have experience so here's what you do. Instead of applying for straight RN positions, look for RN residency programs or new graduate academies. Lots of places are starting these two things and just because you aren't a new grad, doesn't mean you can't apply to them. They are for new grads and nurses looking to switch specialties alike. Best of luck!!!
    INFJBoo, lindarn, and sarahaldean like this.
  9. 9
    When I was trying to re-enter the workforce after being at home with our kids for several years, I couldn't get any hospital to consider me, even though I had over eight years of hospital experience working as a float nurse in Med/Surg and Telemetry. Everywhere I applied, it was the same story, I didn't have "current experience". I decided to look outside of hospital nursing and found a position at an inpatient hospice unit. After being there for a while, I moved to sub-acute rehab, and then finally I was hired by a local hospital, again as a float nurse in Med/Surg and Telemetry. Basically, I had to work my way back "up" to inpatient hospital nursing. If this same strategy would work for you, then even if you couldn't get into LDRP right away, maybe you could start out on Med/Surg and transition to your specialty of choice after proving your competence there.

    Just wanted to add, as the mother of two terrific young adults, you will never, never regret giving your kids the gift of a stay at home mom during their early years. Jobs come and go, but your kids are only little once. If you get discouraged in your job search, just remember that you have been doing the most important job of all and give yourself a hug!
    INFJBoo, suessergirl, Heparin RN, and 6 others like this.
  10. 5
    I told a newgrad friend of mine to start volunteering at health fairs when she couldn't find a job. You can meet working nurses there. At her second event she met someone and was hired soon after into the unit where that nurse worked. Once people know you a little bit and can see how capable you are, sometimes that's all it takes.
  11. 5
    U can do it! I was out for for 12 yrs. took a refresher course online with no clinical. Too expensive. I found a job in home health after 3 months. Keep in mine your strengths, experience, gut-feeling etc, more than that new grad. You haven't lost your nursing skills, there still there. I agree the pay might be like a new grad but get your foot in the. I'm totally loving nursing more than ever the second time around. Good luck you will find something soon.

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