Getting back into hospital nursing

  1. Hi all,

    I have been out of hospital nursing for three years and would like to get back into it. I miss the learning and the patient care.

    What are my chances do you think? I have 5 years of medical surgical experience on an ortho/neuro floor.

    Thanks, Heather
  2. Visit sistasoul profile page

    About sistasoul

    Joined: Aug '07; Posts: 723; Likes: 1,037
    RN; from US
    Specialty: neuro/ortho med surge 4

    8 Comments

  3. by   Southpawdown
    Apply, apply, apply - you will get hired back - no worries - you may be asked why you left the hospital setting but there is nothing wrong with being hoenst, that you wanted to try a different flavor of nursing but have recently realized hospital based nursing is what you prefer.
  4. by   ivyleaf
    They would rather hire someone who has been in the hospital before, knows the reality, and still wants to come back vs. a new grad or someone who hasn't worked in the setting and might not be a good fit

    GOod luck!
  5. by   ruby_jane
    Is any hospital local to you offering a "refresher" course for nurses who stepped out (maybe to raise a family or whatnot)? That might help you in terms of re-entry.

    No? Southpaw and Ivyleaf above sum up my thoughts. Good luck!
  6. by   BirkieGirl
    I agree with all the above. Buy a 'refresher' book from Amazon and review those things that have gotten a bit dusty: IVs, foleys, wet-to-dry dressings, chest tubes, etc. All the procedural stuff. Also, most hospitals have Staff Development departments that will help you out. Since EMRs change all the time, that will be something you'll learn as a new hire.

    I went back to acute bedside care after 12 years away and although things were a bit dusty at first, it all came back very quickly and I love being there. I worked with my staff education department and actually REQUESTED to spend time in pre-procedure, chemotherapy infusion department, and the ECC (ER) to practice IVs (both starts and just general management of the pumps). I also took every bit of orientation that I was offered. Even though I felt comfortable pretty quickly, being an orientee gave me time to ask every question I could think of, and I kept a small notebook with ALL the notes in it. Even though I've moved into more of a leadership non-bedside role now, I still refer to those notes when I get calls from new RNs with questions!

    Please feel free to PM if you have any questions, but I totally agree with the above. Just keep applying and you'll get a bite. Also network! There may be some old colleagues who have a connection to get you in somewhere. Good luck!
  7. by   ivyleaf
    Quote from BirkieGirl
    I agree with all the above. Buy a 'refresher' book from Amazon and review those things that have gotten a bit dusty: IVs, foleys, wet-to-dry dressings, chest tubes, etc. All the procedural stuff. Also, most hospitals have Staff Development departments that will help you out. Since EMRs change all the time, that will be something you'll learn as a new hire.

    I went back to acute bedside care after 12 years away and although things were a bit dusty at first, it all came back very quickly and I love being there. I worked with my staff education department and actually REQUESTED to spend time in pre-procedure, chemotherapy infusion department, and the ECC (ER) to practice IVs (both starts and just general management of the pumps). I also took every bit of orientation that I was offered. Even though I felt comfortable pretty quickly, being an orientee gave me time to ask every question I could think of, and I kept a small notebook with ALL the notes in it. Even though I've moved into more of a leadership non-bedside role now, I still refer to those notes when I get calls from new RNs with questions!

    Please feel free to PM if you have any questions, but I totally agree with the above. Just keep applying and you'll get a bite. Also network! There may be some old colleagues who have a connection to get you in somewhere. Good luck!
    Birkie Girl: just curious, what kind of work were you doing the 12 years away from the bedside? What made you come back? And how much acute care experience did you have under your belt when you left?
  8. by   BirkieGirl
    I was in medical device sales, went back to direct care because I had decided I wanted to further my career and wanted to make sure I 'could' actually do it! turns out I could, I was pretty good at it and now am in a NP program
  9. by   caffeinatednurse
    What have you been doing during those three years?

    If you've been working in another area of nursing, it shouldn't be too hard. I was working in LTC before I decided to go back to med-surg. I could apply a lot of the skills I had picked up there (time management, supervisory experience, being a preceptor, wound care, admissions, etc.) to my new job. The hardest part for me was relearning some of the technology that I hadn't worked with every day in my old job. That and learning hospital policy regarding certain things - my current hospital (a community hospital) operates much differently than the hospital I previously worked at (a regional access hospital and large corporation).

    If you've not been in nursing during those 3 years, it might be a little harder to get a hospital job immediately. A refresher course might be helpful and might also make the hospital feel better about hiring you. It seems like everybody stays just a year and then takes off, so anything you can do to make yourself look better on resume should help.
  10. by   bgwhirlwind09
    Hi all. I've been off the hospital floor for 5 years got back in the door scared to death things do come back, slowly it seems like every hour I'm not working I'm Googling and youtubing and of course the little tablet that I scribble in all day long I rewrite it into neat index cards it's nerve-wracking to have somebody young as your children reacclimate you but I'm happy I went back it's worth the chaos of 12 hours and three shifts and to have extra days off!

close