Anyone Who Has Returned To Nursing??

Nurses General Nursing


Just wondering if anyone could share their experiences returning to nursing after being inactive for several years. I just completed a nursing refresher after being inactive for 9 years to be a full-time mom. Little nervous about returning. If you have "been and done that" , could you share your experience. Did any of your past nursing experience count or did they consider you just like a new nurse when determing your salary? Would they let you do one of the internships for a speciality area or did they insist that you had to do med-surg? Which type of facility seems to be more eager to work with a returning nurse : hospital or long-term? How about your co-workers: were they accepting? Would your employer give you the 12 hour weekends after a 2 to 3 month orientation? And finally how is it working out for you? Anything that you are willing to share, I would love to hear.


2 Posts

Gosh, I am the only person on this board who took off from nursing to be a full-time mom and planning to return to nursing? Here's some info about me. Was inactive for 9 years, completed a refresher course, and just got my RN license back this weekend. This weekend I mailed and faxed my resume to places that are my first choices to work and waiting to see who will show interest. Of course, there are the personal issues also. Family is used to me always being available so on the home front is there is going to some major adjustments. My children were 3yo and 6yo when I decided to become inactive so they don't remember what it is like to have a working mom. Needless to say, I am anxious about returning and am hoping to hear from someone who has done that.


4,516 Posts

Good luck to you! I always stayed PRN and even worked some agency night shifts here and there to keep active when my son was small, so I don't know what it's like to be away for 9 years.

I'm sure the facilities in your area will snatch you right up....don't know about the salary issue, but it never hurts to remind them you are NOT a new grad and you do have experience....

Best wishes!

Specializes in ICU, nutrition.

My mom (an LPN) took off for most of my childhood. I believe in the first job she got after her long absence, she did not do that well monetarily, but since then, she has done really well. I don't know if that first doc counted any of her experience into salary (small town, small clinic, wouldn't have paid much anyway). At her next job, she stayed there for about six years and was doing very well when she quit. She did not work for a particular doctor at that clinic, she floated, did EKGs, drew blood, did BACs and urine drug tests (pre-employment/DOT), called back pts, etc. She loved the job, continued to get more education, and made herself worth the $$$ she was making.

She's working PRN at another clinic now and is "semi-retired." I think she's about ready to hang up her nursemates!

Good luck and enjoy your new adventure.

joyflnoyz, LPN

356 Posts

Specializes in home health.

I was home for 15 years, let my license lapse :( 4 years ago we moved from Mich to Texas. Michigan said "take boards again, if you pass you get your license. (brag mode on: passed them the 1st try 20 years after the 1st time I took 'em!) Texass LVN board has refused me a license. They 've told me either go back to school and start over again or go back to Mich and work for a year. Wouldn't accept boards, no preceptorship, nope to refresher course. After more than a year of fighting with the LVN board, I've left husband and kids and moved temporaily back to MI. found a job the 1st week.. and they are willing to work with me. 25% of my time in MI is over. I'm at a SNF, on a rehab unit.

Still homeschooling, too Long Distance :(

hard decision, but in a lot of ways it beats spending 6-8 K repeating the education I already have. I make a lot more in MI than I can in TX anyway. maybe I'll get to build my house?

Sandy (stuck between the rock and the hard -place)


657 Posts


i took a refresher course...boy did i need it...that was like smashing nursing school into 12

but i did it.

i think the worst part of coming back was that you were expected to know things you were either never taught or just plain forgot.

and it was kinda embarassing to say...i dont know...when you should have.

its natural to be nervous..i was nervous too but you have your basic THINK like a nurse. you will either remember those things your forgot or you will learn them.

ive been back for a year today after a 5 year absence. i survived (tho there were times i thought i wouldnt due to the crazy people i work with)

youll be just fine


2 Posts

Just thinking about doing the same as you---I've been inactive for about4 years now. Alabama boards recently passed to discontinue "inactive" liscense & move to a "lapsed " liscense. This renewal I'm trying to move back to "active status", before they change any more,& have to go back to college again to work as a nurse. I hope to get back into HHcontract work( where I was working before full-time), before I was layed off.

Your not the only one out there!!


live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

You most certainly aren't the only one out there in the world who is a nurse that hasn't worked in awhile. I am among those who haven't worked as a nurse in five years...with the exception of one day that I worked on a new job (in a family medicine clinic for military active and retiree soldiers and family)...quit at the end of the day...and that was only four summers ago. :chuckle

I fully intend to return to nursing soon...I kept not one...but two...nursing licenses active all this time, kept up on my PALS expired two years ago...and I keep up with the Ohio CEU requirements...where I first tested and became a licensed RN. I am in Texas right now, and applied for a RN refresher course which they DO have (for LPNs as well). I withdrew last summer before the class started due to a severe back injury that caused my spouse to undergo emergency surgery. Since it is only he and I here (we're military), I was all that he had to depend on for assistance once he was discharged from the hospital. I haven't gone again because I want out of's killing me roughly with its' many allergens. Hachoo! (excuse me...) :chuckle I did NOT have to get a nursing license for the refresher course because they won't issue you one until you finish the course with a passing grade. What you receive from the TX Nrsng Bd is a "temporary permit" that states on the permit "For the refresher course only" can't work on it...only attend the course. THEN, once you pass the refresher course...the school must mail the Board your pass results in order for them to accept an application by endorsement from any nurse.

Hope this information about TX helps you. Is your spouse still in TX and you and the kids in MI??? :)

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