How can I get back into nursing after being away 10 years?

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Join the conversation! Nurses Nurse Beth Nursing Q/A


Hello Nurse Beth,

I have been away from nursing for over ten years due to my husband's military career and constant moves (about once a year) some of them being overseas where I was ineligible for work. I was able to renew my license when we settled for a little while (no moves for 4 years so far!) and I got my RN to BSN during that time in December of 2021.

We were supposed to move again last year almost immediately after my graduation but we didn't move and are here for a while longer so I wasn't to get a job. I'm nervous because I am afraid no one will hire me because it's been so long since I initially graduated from my ASN/passed my NCLEX and I am out of practice. I assume that I would have orientation wherever I am, but I want to ease myself back into nursing. What's a good plan of action for me and what jobs/settings do you think would be good for someone to ease their way back in? Thank you!


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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Nervous,

Congrats on getting your BSN! Having your BSN will give you a lot more opportunities.

Refresh your nursing knowledge. You'll want to brush up on your nursing skills and knowledge, as nursing has changed significantly in the last few years. If you can find a refresher class locally, you can network and find job leads.

Network with other nurses: Reach out to local professional nursing organizations. Check with the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN): The AMSN is the professional association for MedSurg nurses, and they have a "Find a Chapter" tool on their website. You can search by state or zip code to find local chapters near you.

From there, you can meet nurses in your area and network.

Update your resume: Make sure your resume reflects your most recent experience, education, and skills and highlights any relevant accomplishments, such as volunteer work.

Be prepared for a Job Search, and be persistent. Register on for job openings in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, and prepare for interviews.

Understandably, you want to ease back into nursing. At this point, your main priority is to get your foot in the door and start building a work history.

Subacute facilities are more likely to hire an RN without experience and offer a way to regain your skills. From there you can apply to other settings.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth