inactive RN-continuing ed-loaded question


Let's say someone graduated nursing school, got their license, but decided to take a job offer for something non-nursing (for whatever reason that may be). How does one go about keeping the RN license just in case they want to someday return to the profession? Continuing ed credits? I know that varies by state, but is that enough? And...if one were to return to the profession after not having practiced for 6mos or longer (say years), is that even possible?


5,978 Posts

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

This theoretical person should check with his/her SBON.


21 Posts

Yes, this person definitely will of course. But my question is - will cont. ed. credits be enough to keep the license, and what is the likelihood of returning to the profession after inactivity? Has anyone here had experience with this?


297 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Some states have a continuing ed requirement. Some states have a practice hours requirement (i.e. you have to work/volunteer some). Check w/one's BON for one's state.

If you're asking will one get rehired? Who knows-depends on the market at that time. One could increase one's odds by taking a refresher course.


21 Posts

Thanks! I've looked on my state's BON site and found minimal info. I will be contacting them directly. I ask my hypothetical question because in this difficult period of finding a nursing job, if an opportunity comes up outside of nursing that will pay the bills, I'd be tempted to take it. I'd like to know where I'd stand if such a situation presented itself. Of course no one can predict the future, but if anyone has left nursing for any period of time and then returned, I wondered how difficult it was. I think your idea of volunteering is wise.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Yep - if this theoretical person has never worked in an actual nursing job - and a significant amount of time has passed, chances of being hired into a nursing job are just about zero these days. My state's license renewal process includes a question about number of hours worked in a nursing job. I doubt whether this information can automatically trigger an 'inactive' status but our Rules & Regs require us to take a refresher if we've been out of active nursing employment for (I think) > 2 years and want to go back.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

And remember, there are many kinds of work as a nurse, not just bedside or in hospitals/care facilities. I always say I am a nurse and have been one for mumblemumble years. I have not worked in a health care facility of any kind since the nineties.


21 Posts

GrnTea-that's part of my problem. I do not want to work in a hospital. (I know, I know, I'm probably going to make a lot of people mad by admitting that). I am a career changer and never envisioned myself in a hospital setting. In my area, most non-hospital jobs require at least 1-3 years experience so it may be next to impossible for me to find a job I enjoy. And I do want to enjoy it. I don't want all the stress, crying, worrying, and martyrdom of first year nurses in the hospital. I am not someone who considers that a rite of passage, or part of the profession that others seem to think of as normal. I guess being a career changer, I expect some degree of adjustment, learning, discomfort, etc., but I'm simply not willing to suffer for a year or more in my new profession.

To GrnTea or anyone willing to answer-What was your experience in finding a non-hospital job? I know there are many nursing areas outside of the hospital, but what, if anything, would you suggest as being the most opportune places for new grads?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

each BON is different. Some mandate that if a nurse has not worked in a specific period of time in nursing then taking courses again may be required. As for non-hospital jobs, GN's can be hired in nursing homes, home health (sometimes) and MD offices. You might consider out-patient surgery as well. Good luck