Refresher programs: My licence has lapsed, ugh, retesting sounds challenging, advice? - page 2

Hi All, After working as a Neonatal Nurse Practioner for 10 years I "retired", and have been living abroad for several years. I am really wanting to return to nursing and realized I must first get... Read More

  1. by   SuzeeW
    Deb, my situation is a bit similar without all the locations.
    I was originally licensed in PA but moved to DE. My license was in good standing, I just didn't renew.
    DE won't allow me to become licensed unless I reactivate in PA. The Refresher Course isn't good enough since it's more than 5 years that I have been in active practice and the license expired. The Reactivation is a bit more entailed than the Refresher is.
    I found one Reactivation course in PA and a few months ago got an email telling me that one other college is trying to form a course too. The problem is, they have to have enough people to make the class even worth their effort. Even if I wanted to take the Reactivation Course at either college in PA, I'd have to stay up there because of the schedule. And being a single Mom, I can't afford to miss six or eight weeks of work and stay in PA. And the Board of Nursing in DE may not accept the Reactivation per se, and may want me to retake a Refresher here in DE even after I take and pass a Reactivation in PA!
    I thought I had found a solution at the University of Delaware who offers a course. Turned out it's only a Refresher and the state of PA won't accept it because the U of D hadn't included a standardized version of NCLEX for refresher.
    Neither state is making it easy, but they make the rules, so I gotta do what they want.
    The cost of all the Refresher and Reactivation courses, plus lodging, plus losing income is what made me take a look at just doing the whole thing over again.
    If I can challenge the CNA exam and pass, I can then apply to a two or three year program with a bridge to BSN. I have my BA in Psych and Spanish and would love to eventually have my BSN.
    All of this at the age of 49...... Hey, you're never too old to learn

    Do you think you can revert to the CT license and take it from there or the original state that you were licensed in?
  2. by   debbren
    I guess that is what I have to figure out. NY state will be the final word I guess. I also live in Hong Kong at the moment 'so the time thing is a pain. I want to call people but no one is up yet, but you, why are you up???
    CT would require a refresher course with some clinical (9days), and taking the NCLEX. They offer several places to take it, but I don't now and won't probably be living in CT, unless we moved to NYC, then that will be perhaps do able.....Like you , a lot of unknowns. I know once I get headed in the right direction, I can do it.

    I know for you with kids still at home really challenging....only my youngest still in college, so I have the luxury of free time...and I do appreciate it.
    At one point I was going to school full time to get my Masters, working full time and had a 2 and 3 year old, and was pregnant by the time I graduated!! So I know I can do anything...just will take it one step at a time.

    I got my license in 1981 so like you it has been a while!!
    Thanks for your words of encouragment, and one thing to think about is what IS offered through distance learning..have thought about getting another degree in grief management or something easier!! Computer work is great, can do at home when you have time...

    Well, I am off to do my Infection Control required CE course for NYState. Ever the optimist!!
  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    Hit the jackpot just now in my internet wanderings has list all states refresher courses

    Moving thread to Nursing Career advice forum to help others in same situation.
  4. by   debbren
    Very helpful link, thanks. I am realizing that until I actually speak to the folk in NY , I won't be sure the exact course I must take. My two issues breakdown like this:
    1. Expired licence
    2. Out of state
    It is funny, when I started this search, I thought the most daunting part was the NCLEX, I have decided that is the easier part! Ha! Kind of like graduate school, getting in was much harder than actually doing the coursework!
    I have just heard from NYS and they are sending me a packet...I will speak to them and let you know what they direct me to do...
    Coffee on board...feeling hopeful!
  5. by   SuzeeW
    It will all depend on how long your license is expired.

    What I was told by the Delaware State Board of Nursing was that since the expiration had taken place and I was out of practice for more than 5 years, I would have to return to PA and actually REACTIVATE. That would place the license back in active status, once I passed the exam.
    Then DE would probably want a REFRESHER to make sure that the learning requirements met their standards.

    I was very unaware of the difference between a Refresher Course and a Reactivation Course.

    Once your license has lapsed, you are more likely to be looking at Reactivation than Refresher.
  6. by   SuzeeW
    Could you also post a list of current Reactivation Courses? I have some data but my list is far from complete. In fact, Montogomery Area Community College in PA emailed me to tell me that they may have a course starting this year if the demand is sufficient. If not, I have only one other active listing for it in Eastern PA....
    It's much easier to locate the Refreshers, but the Reactivation list is difficult.
  7. by   debbren
    In the list of refresher courses listed in NY state, the one for Central NY came back with no longer I will keep looking...NY has been really responsive. I just heard from a very nice gentleman who is the
    Assistant to the Executive Secretary for BON and he gave me a list of what to do...and a contact person to speak with.
    I think for those of us who love our profession, it is really encouraging to get this kind of response. Thanks to you all for your help....I would be happy to post the list for NYS if anyone is interested.
  8. by   Newfie Lover
    I am like you - have to re-test. Due to an MVA, I left nursing (which I LOVED!) 18 years ago. Now, at the age of 54, I am determined to be an RN again, despite some disabilities. We took the test once, we can do it again! I plan to follow Suzanne's program, and meanwhile have been studying a different NCLEX review book. I have looked into refresher programs where I live in Sonoma County, CA and found one (the only one) that is $1500.00. Have others of you found that the cost is this high, or is this a reasonable price? Also, have any of you taken the course in my county? Was it worthwhile? The instructor did not actually sound that encouraging, when I asked if it would help me pass the NCLEX again. She said, that was not the goal of the class, yet that is what I need first and foremost. I don't have that kind of money, so not sure if I should take it or not. One reason I plan to be a nurse again is that I need to make a better living for the next 10 or 15 years, and because I loved it. Any advice would be appreciated. So happy to have found this site!
  9. by   debbren
    I would say, if I were you, it will be the best $1500 you ever spent. You will have someone there to encourage you and you will feel much more confident. I am just so surprised with the nursing sortage that each state doesn't have a really big push to refresh and reuse our nursing having a standardized refresher course in every state...sounds like we are not alone!! I am plodding through all the requirements for NY state. Once I get my application in , then I will know which direction to go in.....
    Keep smiling!!!
  10. by   debbren
    Thought I would see how you are doing. I have filed all my paper work with NYState, and hope to hear something back soon. I have been taking practice NCLEX exams and doing general reviewing each day.
    So far I have averaged around 68-72, so I am not discouraged. Once I am told what they need of me...I will be raring to go....

    So what have you decided??? Hope you are doing well....
  11. by   Newfie Lover
    I am slowly doing the tests in the Saunder's review book, like Suzanne's Plan suggests. I am also taking the Nursing Re-entry course in my county. With my disabilities, I was able to qualify for the Department of Rehabilitation, through the state. They are paying for the class. PTL! The class has met twice, and it's really helping me to think like a nurse again. I actually feel pretty good about what I remember, but the best part is that the thinking process is still the same, and it is coming back. My hardest part is not sticking to a daily study plan. Life gets in the way and I am not good at getting back in the habit. Does anyone have a routine that works with a busy life? If you would care to share, I need basic tips or advice on how to manage my time and prioritize, to study everyday.
    An interesting note about this re-entry class - there are about 30 nurses in the class, of all ages. There is only one nurse who has been out longer than me; she has been out 20 years and still has her license. Three of us need to take the NCLEX. One of these 3 shared that he heard the NCLEX now has more questions that are not one answer type multiple choice, but the type where several answers are correct and you must choose all of them. Those are the type of questions that I do the worst at, so that really worries me. I wonder if others have found this to be true on the NCLEX. Regards!
  12. by   debbren
    Wow, good for you...I am so excited to get going I will tell you. I have downloaded some review books on my new Kindle (small, and portable) and I am waiting to hear what NY says. I am pretty sure I will have to retest. But like you, it is really coming back. Amazing isn't it. I think we will make excellent nurses again because our hearts are in it. Once I get the ok from NY I will register with NCLEX, but must wait until I am given the ok. I was never licienced in NY, just 3 other states! So while I wait I am studying...
    I bet your re-entry class is wonderful. Nice to be with other people in the same boat huh? Best of sound very committed so you will do great! What state are you in?
  13. by   schu0909
    Quote from debbren
    Hi All,
    After working as a Neonatal Nurse Practioner for 10 years I "retired", and have been living abroad for several years. I am really wanting to return to nursing and realized I must first get my licence back. Does anyone have advice on how they have chosen to study for the exam? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Being in Hong Kong, I have lots of free time, can do online course work, but have no availablity to do any clinical here. But for now I think the matter of preparing to retake an exam I havent taken in 25 years is a tad daunting!
    Thank you and love the site....
    I just joined and have read your above notice.....I too am in the same situation and wonder how you are doing....sherry