Confused In Massachusetts

Nurses General Nursing


Hi There,

I've been out of nursing for about 9 years now raising a family. My background is in Med/Surg. I just took and passed the NCLEX, first time without the help of study classes.(couldn't afford it) Some of the hospitals here are asking me to do a refresher course. They are quite expensive and can't afford it. Will a good orientation not help me just as much? I would like to get into cardiac. Oh! did I mention I am foreign trained?

For those returning nurses out there, what was your experience like? Was it totally awful? Did you go for the refresher course? If not, do you wish you'd done that? For those who never left, did you find us "returnees" totally useless and out of our depth?


I don't understand. Why are you just now getting your license? What do you mean by being out of nursing 9 years? Were you an LVN before, or trained and worked in another country and just now getting your USA license???? In Texas if you were licensed but have not worked for 5 years (I think) then a refresher course is required. Would the hospital foot the bill if you decline sign-on bonus? If I were hiring I would wonder about your skills and why there was such a gap.


16 Posts

Hi Purplemania,

I did mention that I was a foreign trained nurse (I didn't train in the USA)that is why I've just taken the NCLEX and I have been raising a family and pursued a different career in the time I've been away from nursing. My time can be accounted for.


llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

In my experience in staff development and orientation, nurses who have been "out of nursing" for more than a year or two have a lot of trouble adjusting to a busy unit. The longer they have been away from the bedside, the more difficult it is. A refresher course might be a big help -- particularly if your previous experience was not in a US hospital.

Of course, that doesn't mean that any particular nurse will have trouble -- just that most in that situation do.

I hope things work out for you,


gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Okay I also have had experience with running refresher courses and the amount of trouble adjusting depended on the amount of post graduate experience the person had before they left as well as the length of time they were away. Those who had a lot of post - graduate experience and had only been away a couple of years felt like they had never left.

Since you trained in a different country I would think seriously about a re-entry/refresher course as the process of nursing is likely to be different as well as the everyday language. I know!!! I am an Aussie and I often have to ask for translations here on the board - Took me a while to get "going to the MAR" - I thought it was a room! We would say checking the drug sheet. Some of the drugs have different names as well and not just the trade name but the generic name is different.


335 Posts

Hi, BizzyLizzy! I returned to the US after having been out of bedside nursing for 15 years (!!). I landed in MA, where they also told me I needed a return to nursing course. I don't know where you are, but the one offered by Salem State was very good, and gave me some time to see all the "new" things available. The down side was that all we heard were horror stories about workplace violence, understaffing, etc, etc, and it really scared me off. I did not complete it.

I moved to KY, and got a staff position on a very busy floor. I have managed, although it has been trial by fire. However, our floor has also seen off some very experienced nurses who couldn't keep up the pace! The hospital has been extremely supportive, with all sorts of critical care courses and updates made available to me, as well as an extensive orientation. It all depends, I guess, on how badly the hospitals need you.

Good luck to you - the course was extremely expensive for one out of work (the blood work alone was over $300!!), and I don't know why they can't figure out that if you are out of work, you probably can't afford these things. Perhaps the FAO at the school can help. I hope that you can find what you need - we'll want to hear!


16 Posts

Hi There,

Thanks a lot for all your responses. Like you Gwenith, I'm a Brit and I know that things are going to be different here.(let's face it they do speak diferently:) But as Repat mentioned, these courses are expensive and at the moment I just cannot afford it.And yes Repat, I am near Salem State and that is where a hospital I contacted hold their refresher courses. I'm meeting with someone from another hospital for an OR opening; maybe I'm totally crazy for even considering it. They will give training though. I will keep in touch and thanks again.


This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X