Any advice for someone returning to (hospital) nursing?

  1. Hi, everyone!

    After working in an outpatient dialysis clinic for 5 years I took a break for family reasons. I just took a per diem position in a hospital inpatient/acute dialysis unit; it seems to be the ideal job for me.

    Although I'm returning to the same nursing specialty, I have been away from it - and nursing! - for nearly two years now. And I haven't worked in a hospital in 7 years (I worked there during my first year as a nurse, in med/tele and cardiac PCU). I'm glad to be returning to hospital nursing, but I'm sure that much has changed in 7 years. And I wonder if the established nurses in my unit will look at me with suspicion - or am I being paranoid?!

    It seems to be a great unit (and manager), they have few openings and I'm really glad to have gotten this position. But I want to make a good impression and not alienate the other nurses. It's weird to be the newbie, when you don't know who is who (OK, who is the backstabber - yes, I'm really getting paranoid now! :uhoh21: Well, we had some in my last job... ) I guess I'm wondering if I will be a pest if I ask too many questions or what else could be the wrong thing to do. I do know dialysis, of course, but I will need to learn new machines and procedures.

    Have any of you

    - returned to nursing after a break of a 1-2 years
    - returned to hospital nursing after a break of several years

    and what do you wish you had known? How did it go? Any advice?


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    About DeLana_RN

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  3. by   zenman
    Advice for someone returning to hospital nursing?

    Get a psych consult and a bottle of Jack Daniels!:chuckle
  4. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from zenman
    Advice for someone returning to hospital nursing?

    Get a psych consult and a bottle of Jack Daniels!:chuckle
    Will beer do?

    I would never return to floor nursing, but this will be different - a 1:1 ratio! I was just wondering how to conduct myself around the other nurses, my coworkers.

  5. by   Antikigirl
    I used beer! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Honestly...I was working in an ALF for 4 years and returned to med surge. The thing I had to keep in mind is that I needed to give myself time to re-adjust to the hospital setting and set some obtainable goals and share them with my manager. We worked together wonderfully to obtain my goals and brush off the spider webs on that part of my brain that sat dormant.

    I was very proud of myself for remembering so much! I didn't think I would and I did! So don't let yourself get hung up on "oh my...I haven 't done this for a while" and think "okay..what do I need to do, or who can I ask to help". Typically a one or two time walk through with another nurse got me back on track and doing it like a pro in no time .

    I am very proud of myself now, but I will tell you I was very very nervous. But I allowed myself to ask questions, ask for help, set obtainable goals on re-learning and the time it would take to obtain them, communicated well, and yes...giggled a little at myself! (got to have some fun on a new adventure!).

    Good luck to you and congratulations! Hope it all works out beautifully for you like it did for me (well..having some current probelm with noc shift cliques, but nothing I can't handle).
  6. by   oneLoneNurse
    Yeh, I went back to floor nursing last December after being away from it for 9 years. It wasn't too difficult once I had made up my mind that that is what I needed to do. Great co-workers. I also had the benefit of knowing the CPOE system inside out so was able to give other employees 1:1 inservices on how to use the system.
  7. by   DeLana_RN
    Thank you all , I feel better now!

  8. by   bethin
    Jack Daniels? I prefer vodka put in a water bottle. People think you're drinking alot of water and you're happy, but in reality........

    Bearing in mind I'm just an aide here is some advice:

    Don't take it personally if someone gets snippy, yells (as long as it's not abusive language), etc. Floors can be very busy with high acuity pts. I don't take it personally when a nurse yells at me to get the crash cart. She yelled because she's stressed, adrenaline, etc.

    Before you leave, say thank you to fellow nurses, aides, secretaries, etc. It helps clear the air if it was a stressful shift and if you were snippy (it will happen) that lets everyone know that you didn't mean to act that way. We get snippy to each other on our floor and we know when it's time to go and someone says "thanks" that all is well. No apologies needed.

    Always ask questions if you are unsure about anything. I have seen nurses who have 20+ years experience question an order, how to do something, etc. You learn something new every shift.
  9. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from bethin
    Bearing in mind I'm just an aide here is some advice:
    Great advice, but don't call yourself "just an aide", you're obviously very considerate of others and have great insight.

    Congrats on starting school soon!


    P.S. I was a CNA in LTC while in nursing school.
  10. by   SandraJean
    I went back to hospital nursing after being out for 18 years. Very scary stuff but I was motivated to do it. I did take a refresher course, which helped some, but I just needed to get in and do hands on stuff with the patients to get over my anxiety. I really tried to get along with the other nurses, HUCs, everyone and thanked people for all of their advice and help. I tried to exercise everyday that I could and did a lot of affirmative self talk (you can do this;this is a piece of cake, etc.) Good luck to you. If I can do it, you can, too!