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Advice on returning to work after time off

Nurses   (1,094 Views | 8 Replies)

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I haven’t worked as an RN since December of 2016 when I left to have my son and stay home with him and my other 3 kids. I was still a recent  graduate and had only been working at that job (my first and only RN job) since August 2015. This was a bedside position in a hospital. I am wanting to go back but am not very confident I will be a desirable candidate for most facilities considering that I haven’t worked in so long and before that I had only recently graduated. Any advice on how to get back into the working world? I have an ADN. Maybe I should go back and get a BSN first and that would give me an entry back into the profession once I complete the program. Any thoughts and/or advice? 

Edited by Jaime Schmidt Barnette

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Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1 Article; 478 Posts; 5,238 Profile Views

You won't know where you stand until you try. If you left on good terms you already have a foot in. Start applying and see what happens. Reach out to old managers or co-workers and see if they can help put in a good word for you. In the grand scheme of things you haven't been out that long.  I was a stay at home mom for 10 yrs and out of the hospital itself for 15 after having only a year and a half experience as a hospital nurse (and five as a school nurse) and had no problem getting back in. I researched good resumes and cover letters and how to showcase my strengths. I also used references of teachers at my kid's school and church that I volunteered with so there's an idea. Good luck!

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,245 Posts; 29,806 Profile Views

I have heard that float pool and per diem positions are less picky about BSN.

If you want maximum flexibility of schedule, which is a plus with several children, consider a per diem position.

 

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3 Followers; 37,157 Posts; 98,955 Profile Views

Personally, if it were me, and you could financially endure more time off, I would start the BSN. Based on the specific logistics of your program, start applying for new positions at the time you can mesh a new job with finishing up the degree. You may find that you have an easier time in interviews if you steer toward your degree efforts more than your family endeavors. At any rate, good luck.

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1,718 Posts; 17,834 Profile Views

What about a nurse refresher course?  I don't know anything about these, but someone here must.

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3 Followers; 37,157 Posts; 98,955 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, hherrn said:

What about a nurse refresher course?  I don't know anything about these, but someone here must.

Another proactive endeavor.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,267 Posts; 18,210 Profile Views

First, you should start by looking into requirements for refresher courses in your state. You've only been away from the bedside for a few years, but some states will require you to complete a refresher course after a certain period of time.

Assuming you aren't required to take a refresher, you could start by simply applying to jobs and seeing if you get hired. Honestly, any reputable unit should take the time to adequately train you, and account for the fact that you might need a bit of extra time. Most units are accustomed to orienting anyone from new grads (who need maximum orientation support) through travelers (who need minimal orientation support); they should be able to figure out where you fall on that spectrum and find a system that will work for you. If you'd been away from the bedside for ten years I'd say you definitely need a refresher course, but with only three, you may be able to pick up the stuff you've forgotten during orientation (and some of it may come right back to you).

I'd also recommend not being too picky about the jobs you apply for or accept (assuming that they're willing to adequately train you). Any nursing job experience (even if it's in a less-desirable setting or specialty) will help you build your resume so that you can transition back into your preferred setting.

If you have trouble getting hired, then I'd start looking into BSN programs and refresher courses. However, that's just the approach that I'd take.

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1 Post; 33 Profile Views

Start looking into BSN program most hospital don't hire Rn no more.Check out Walden, A&M

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JBMmom has 6 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care.

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I guess I disagree with the others here that recommend the BSN route first. I think you could find a position working as a RN and get experience first, then decide if you want the BSN. Long-term care facilities are a good place to get back into the swing of things. Some have medication nurse positions where you're responsible for a medication pass on a patient floor. That would be a good place to start and then transition into a charge nurse position where you have the med pass in addition to treatments like wound care and the addition of charting, etc. You haven't been away from bedside that long, and if acute care is your goal, there's a chance that hospitals would hire you back as well. Maybe check out nurse residency programs and contact people to see whether you could get into one? Good luck with your search!

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