Career Break

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Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

The interpretation of "recent" can vary, depending upon the perception of the hiring manager. As a rule, it also varies with the type of clinical background that is being sought. For instance, in areas that tend to move at a very fast pace with continuous change and innovation (critical care units), recent = within the last 12 months. But for medsurge/tele, recent may = 24 months. It may also vary depending upon how much expertise you have. If you had umpteen years of experience the hiring manager may realize that your overall competency would not really erode after only a couple of years. This would not be the case for a relatively new nurse who probably had not achieved such a high level of mastery/competence.

Not the answer you wanted, huh? My advice is to be brazen - prepared to defend why you believe that you are (still) very qualified for that job, despite the fact that you took a short break. Now, you're rested and ready to approach it with a whole new batch of motivation!!


14,633 Posts

The fact that you have been in nursing school during that time is a help, as opposed to just staying home or doing something entirely different than nursing.


16 Posts

How long can you be away from bedside nursing before they require a refresher course?

allnurses Guide

NurseCard, ADN

2 Articles; 2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

It generally depends on the facility that you are applying to work for,

or wish to work for. Also I suppose your state BON may require a

refresher course. You might want to check with your state BON.


16 Posts

I am mostly wondering what employers do or will think? The BON of the 2 states I am licensed in only require refreshers if you have let your license expire and you havent worked in 3 or 4 years. I kept my license active and I have been enrolled in an RN to BSN the whole time. 15 years exp with a 2 year career break


3 Posts

I've just recently quit my job that I've had for 12 years on a tele floor. I have thought about taking at LEAST 6 months off to spend time with my 3 kids. I would like to take more time off but I'm scared that I couldn't get hired if I needed a job. My question is if I went back to school to get my BSN (I have my ADN) would that count as still being active as a nurse? Ideally, I would love to take a couple of years off and go back to school and return to work after my kids are all in school.

Has 33 years experience.

Most likely 6 months could be seen as a lapse in employment.

The simple solution is get an agency position, even if you only work 2 days a month.. you will remain current.


36 Posts

Specializes in OB. Has 9 years experience.

Don't be scared! You can do it. You have an amazing amount of experience and a 2 year break won't hurt anything. I recently rentered nursing after a 7 year break. They were thrilled to get someone with 8 years of experience, even though I had not practiced in 7 years, and I was very grateful they gave me the chance. I think you will be just fine, especially if you'll be attending school during your break.

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management. Has 17 years experience.

Keep it to four months... no probs.

Enjoy yourself!