Procrastinate - Wasted what could've been a great career

Nurses General Nursing


I'm a 34yo male USMC veteran. After service, I worked though local CC to become a LVN/GVN in 2005 and worked for a couple years in tele/cvicu while completing ADN/GN May 08. Before taking NCLEX, I became involved in the booming industrial field here in Texas related to hurricane damages, not to mention getting personal matters into check dealing with the aftermath.

Before I noticed the time had flew by and all the while having the thought of becoming a caregiver on the back burner. After running into a fellow graduate from my 08 class (whom had become quite the established RN) and he expressed interest in having me on his staff but when I informed him of my situation he informed me that he believed that there was no hope of me becoming a Nurse at this point. It was quite disheartening.

I'm curious if there is any avenue short of starting from square one to become a licenced caregiver... Which I still have some passion to become.

Can anyone with knowledge of this situation give me any insight or hope?

Thanks for any input that this comunity can offer. -Justin

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care.

I know there are some 'nurse refresher courses' out there, but I think never having gotten your RN (passing your NCLEX) could be a hindrance. It looks like Texas requires a nurse to take a refresher course if they haven't worked for 4 years. But, that may only work for your LPN if you never became a licensed RN. Google also seems to imply that Texas requires passing the NCLEX within 4 years of graduation. Other states may not. In Texas, your options are probably: nurse refresher course for LPN. You can possibly take the NCLEX in a state without an expiration date, then try to get endorsement in Texas (you'll need the refresher course for this, too).

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

contact the Texas BON first. Get a fix on what is needed. They are not in the habit of denying people jobs, but in protecting the public. So a refresher course would give you more confidence and make you marketable. Once that is done, consider trauma work. You have great experience.

Thanks to both of you for the reply. A while back I emaled the Texas BNE and got a simple crude email that was along the lines of "you have to go back to school and do it again" at that point I pretty much accepted the fact that Id never work as a nurse again. Really have nobody to blame but myself.


This is my first time posting on allnurses; you'll see why :) I just wanted to offer some encouragement and let you know you're not alone, because I found myself in a similar situation awhile back, and I passed NCLEX and have been practicing as a licensed RN for two years now. For personal reasons as well, I ended up delaying and delaying and delaying taking NCLEX. I did take it once right out of college, and failed. Enough time went by that I thought, that's it, I'll never pass it, I might as well forget about it. One day a couple years later, though, I picked up my study materials and spent about six months studying my tail off. I did take the Kaplan course, and that helped immensely. I passed NCLEX in 75 questions four years after graduation.

Honesty has helped me immensely through the whole process. When interviewing for jobs, I was completely open about what had happened (obviously not spilling my life story in an interview, but acknowledging that delaying the NCLEX had not been the smartest choice I've made in my life, and what I've learned and taken from that, etc.), and everyone has been so gracious to me in return. Of course I was nervous when I started working as a nurse because I was several years out of college by that point, but my employer was more than happy to offer additional training resources and opportunities, and the nurses I work with have been and continue to be wonderful.

I'm not in Texas - I don't believe there was a limit on time when I could take NCLEX, and I wasn't required to take a refresher course (but I had an employer who essentially built that into my training - I'm extremely blessed and do not take it for granted ;), but I do know that at least in some states it is possible to go ahead and become an RN without repeating school. Because I did it. I have never worked harder on anything in my life, and I am positive that the moment I saw that PASS will always remain one of the proudest moments of my life. I traded in the regret I carried around for years for being proud of the perseverance, determination, and the hard work I'd put into finally being able to put that RN after my name. You CAN do this :)

Just pulling from your original post, you already have such valuable life experience that you would be able to offer so much in nursing! Obviously I don't know you or your personal story, but it seems like you have already accomplished and been through so much. Your previous experience in tele, being a veteran of the USMC (thank you for your service, by the way!), being from Texas (kidding, I love Texans ;), adapting to life in the aftermath of a hurricane - I mean, anyone would be lucky to have someone like you as part of their team. I sincerely mean that.

I can't give you any advice on how to sort out things with the Texas BON, but if you decide to pursue this further, I do believe you can do it, and you will be an even more incredible nurse because of it. Best wishes to you!

:uhoh21: I can totally relate. Its been 6 years since i graduated (sigh). I just recently pass the nclex too with only 75q At first I was excited then I realize well geez who will want to hire me I don't have experience at all.

Oh well we can't bring back time we can only move forward. One thing I have learned when I was preparing for the nclex is if you truly want something and you give it your 101% best you will get eventually get it.

Good luck to you! Don't listen to that voice saying you can't do it.


Thanks for the reply (as well as those from all the others too) but having waiting 6 years after graduating to take the NCLEX wasnt a issue for you due to having let so much time lapse? What steps did you have to take to circumvent this 4 year rule I keep hearing about? What state did you accomplish this in?

Again thanks so much for the info, Im starting to feel much better about this situation.

Hey everyone.

Unfortunately, I'm in the same dilemma as TTexasTT. I really don't have the financial means to go back to school and do everything again. I was hoping to just take refresher courses, but I don't think I qualify because I haven't passed the Nclex yet (sighs). I was wondering what other alternatives that I can take. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

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