former RN thinking about refresher course

  1. Aloha everyone, I'm a former nurse who quit back in the year 2000. I graduated from a two year nursing program in Arizona and worked as a registered nurse for only a few months before quitting. My experience was mostly in geriatric care/nursing home as a LPN (during school) and hospice care as a registered nurse.

    The reasons I quit were many...I was missing out on raising my son, who was just starting kindergarten at the time. Ironically now that I'm considering re-entering the nurse world again, my husband and I are talking about having another baby.

    I was burned out on geriatrics/nursing home environment. I was just a kid and was angry about the staffing ratios and how badly run some of the nursing homes were. I worked thru an agency so saw my share of bad homes. When I switched to hospice care, I liked the autonomy and the flexible hours. But I never felt that I knew enough, and was terrified of making a mistake.

    I always wanted to work in obstetrics, either in office or possibly labor and delivery. But I'm not sure I had enough confidence for the fast pace. I'm easily stressed out.

    So there's my profile in a nutshell. I started a business completely unrelated to nursing and have been quite successful at it, but reached a point where I am starting to become a bit bored by it, and find myself thinking about the challenge of nursing again. Now I'm 35, things are different.

    It's been so many years since I've read a patient chart, I don't know where to start? I understand there are nurse refresher courses, but not sure if they apply to ex nurses who've been out of the working field for 6 years (today is 6 years that I quit).

    Where would I begin to ..at this point just check into what is involved in returning? How feasible is it to switch gears and work in obstetrics? I remember being told after graduation that I had to either put in a year on the med/surg floor or work l and d graveyards..both were tough back then. I'm strongly leaning towards ob or l and d now...nothing else interests me and I'm afraid I would end up quitting again. Returning to get my BSN is a possibility, I live in Hawaii and am pretty sure there is a program here.

    That's enough info for now, I've been shy about posting because I do enjoy my current job..it's a luxury. But still wonder about my other life as a nurse.
    Any words of wisdom?
    Jes
    ps I'd want to return only part time to nursing since I have one child with one possibly on the way.
    Last edit by thekid on Sep 21, '06
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    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 355; Likes: 97

    2 Comments

  3. by   Elisheva
    Wow, I could have written your post. Almost.

    I've been out of nursing for 10 years. Quit after two for all the reasons you did. I, too, am easily stressed out. However, I've found myself thinking more and more about nursing and wishing that I had tried my first love - labor and delivery. I went the med-surg route and burned out in two years because I hated it. For some reason, I was convinced I had to stick it out or I wasn't a real nurse. But, like you, a few years have past.....

    I just wrote my check this week for a refresher course. $1200.00. I found it through my state board of nursing website. I'm going to give it a shot, but I'm also giving myself permission to call it done after the course if I'm not convinced I'll be happy in nursing. The course has 2 40 hour modules - one done online, one done in the nursing lab doing procedures with an instructor and 120 hours following a nurse in (gulp) med-surg.

    I think I regret leaving the way I left: feeling overwhelmed, burned out, unsupported, frightened. Going back is taking my power back, if that makes sense.

    I wish you all the best. Please keep me informed!
  4. by   krisssy
    Quote from thekid
    Aloha everyone, I'm a former nurse who quit back in the year 2000. I graduated from a two year nursing program in Arizona and worked as a registered nurse for only a few months before quitting. My experience was mostly in geriatric care/nursing home as a LPN (during school) and hospice care as a registered nurse.

    The reasons I quit were many...I was missing out on raising my son, who was just starting kindergarten at the time. Ironically now that I'm considering re-entering the nurse world again, my husband and I are talking about having another baby.

    I was burned out on geriatrics/nursing home environment. I was just a kid and was angry about the staffing ratios and how badly run some of the nursing homes were. I worked thru an agency so saw my share of bad homes. When I switched to hospice care, I liked the autonomy and the flexible hours. But I never felt that I knew enough, and was terrified of making a mistake.

    I always wanted to work in obstetrics, either in office or possibly labor and delivery. But I'm not sure I had enough confidence for the fast pace. I'm easily stressed out.

    So there's my profile in a nutshell. I started a business completely unrelated to nursing and have been quite successful at it, but reached a point where I am starting to become a bit bored by it, and find myself thinking about the challenge of nursing again. Now I'm 35, things are different.

    It's been so many years since I've read a patient chart, I don't know where to start? I understand there are nurse refresher courses, but not sure if they apply to ex nurses who've been out of the working field for 6 years (today is 6 years that I quit).

    Where would I begin to ..at this point just check into what is involved in returning? How feasible is it to switch gears and work in obstetrics? I remember being told after graduation that I had to either put in a year on the med/surg floor or work l and d graveyards..both were tough back then. I'm strongly leaning towards ob or l and d now...nothing else interests me and I'm afraid I would end up quitting again. Returning to get my BSN is a possibility, I live in Hawaii and am pretty sure there is a program here.

    That's enough info for now, I've been shy about posting because I do enjoy my current job..it's a luxury. But still wonder about my other life as a nurse.
    Any words of wisdom?
    Jes
    ps I'd want to return only part time to nursing since I have one child with one possibly on the way.
    DO IT! Do it part time for now. It sounds like you really want to be a nurse. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get a job. You are still so young. I graduated at 22, quit after two years, never worked in a hospital, and suddenly I am consumed with it. I took a refresher course, and I loved it. I am 59. I took the course at 56. Six years is NOTHING! I wish I had done this at your age. I feel like I missed out on something in life that I really wanted to do. Now I think I am too old. I am thinking along the lines of volunteering in a new born nursery at this point. I have a BS in Nursing, and I was going to go for an MS, but realized that going from nothing to a NP was ridiculous. I think it is really in you to do this , and I hope you do. People in all professions work with babies now. My cousin's daughter just graduated from a two year program. She has three young children and immediately got a daytime L&D job-just what she wanted. Actually, it was the only thing she was willing to do. She is about your age. She loves it. Her parents help with the children. She hopes to be a midwife someday. You will have to be willing to get help, but you can do it if you really want to. I loved the refresher course, and I did so well in it. You are very young. Do what is in your heart before it is too late and you live to regret it like I do. You can't go back. I hope you do it, because it is in your heart, and that's the kind of nurses we need so badly. I, too, am easily stressed out and lack confidence. We sound a lot alike. If I am comfortable volunteering in an NICU or newborn nursery and can find a really good orientation program in that specialty, I still may do it. You never know what life will bring. Sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time. Krisssy

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