I certainly agree that a refresher course could be a good thing--problem is, I have heard that the one Oklahoma offers pretty much sucks. Still, I am not a bashful person and have no problem seeking opportunities to be introduced to new methods, new equipment, new meds, etc. On the plus side, OK's Nurse Refresher course does include 80 hours of clinicals which I'd like to use to explore a couple of different units (specifically ER, OR and/or L&D).
I have a BSN and have worked ICU and Home Health, with the majority of my experience in HH. I have zero desire to spend hours on the road again. Nor do I have any desire to work LTACH or Rehab. I am specifically looking to develop a new skill set and don't mind working at or near the same pay that is being offered to new grads. At the same time, I have no doubt that my learning curve will be short and I will be working independently more quickly than a new grad. And, though recruiters aren't allowed to ask, it should be obvious from my age (almost 50), that some of the complications of younger nurses (pregnancy, small children at home, etc) are behind me.
That said, I have no desire to spend the time and money taking a refresher course, only to be turned away or recruited only by the local nursing homes. I am sure that I would be welcomed back to HH, but that would fail to serve the goals I've set for myself, and still wouldn't make me any more attractive in the clinical setting.
Thank you for your insight and encouragement. I think my next step is to contact HR offices within an hour's drive and simply ask if they are hiring nurses in my position. If not, it may be time to seek a different career path.