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Let my license go, now what?

Updated | Posted
Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I worked as an LPN for 15 years, then received my RN and did phone triage/Urgent Care, mostly inpatient care for 7 years. I moved from that to School Nursing, which I absolutely loved, but my spine started deteriorating and I was in so much pain, and after 3 surgeries, went on disability. I chose, unwisely, not to renew my licenses, for fear I'd lose my disability. Now I'm doing better, still have limitations, but before I spend thousands of $$'a on refresher courses, I need to know, is there anything really out there for me? Or anything else I could do with my experience and no license?

Dear Doing Better,

So glad you are doing better and ready to go back into the workforce :).

Unless your state requires you to take a refresher course to re-activate your license, I would hold off. At least look at the content and if it's skill-based or is designed for the bedside clinician, it may not be worth the cost. If your state requires it, however, then so be it. Think of it as an investment in your future.

The reason is that, you need to look for a non-bedside job with your limitations. Most all bedside jobs will require you to lift around 30 lbs. You'll be on your feet 8-12 hours and you don't want to jeopardize your health.

The good news is that you have phone triage experience in your background. Go online on Indeed.com and start looking at non-bedside jobs. Also read "8 Work from Home Jobs" here online.

Working from home is one option, but there are also non-bedside roles in the hospital. There's Documentation Specialist, Employee Health, Infection Prevention.

There's no guarantee that if you re-activate your license you'll find a job easily. But with focus and persistence, you may find you're qualified for more jobs than you realize.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

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