My situation is likely a bit unique, so I would REALLY appreciate any input you can provide.
I graduated with my BSN in 1999. I went immediately to law school, earning a joint degree - JD/MHA. After graduating from law school, I worked as an attorney/guardian ad litem for abused/neglected children in foster care in an urban setting. This job was incredibly rewarding and I enjoyed it very much. The kids, while troubled and not without their fair share of "baggage" were amazing.
Fast forward a bit to now.....I have four young children - only one is school age (2nd grade next year). The others won't even begin school until 2010, 2011 and 2013 respectively. My priorities have changed DRASTICALLY since entering law school. I never expected to be the "traditional" lawyer....I am a born advocate...not an ambulance chaser.
Sooooo.....I want to get back into nursing now. I hope to work evenings/nights so that I can still raise my young family. Eventually, I might even go the Psych CNS route for child/adol. However, I have no "psych experience in an acute care setting." And, I have been "out" for 10 years. I was told by a psych nurse recruiter for a big health system locally that I would be fighting an uphill battle. I am so FRUSTRATED!
There are RN refresher programs in my area, and I would be willing to do this, but they won't accept me b/c I don't have 2 years inpatient med/surg experience. There are online refresher programs....but I have no idea how credible these are with employers and I hate to send money to a "certificate/diploma mill"..... I will of course get current on my CPR/BLS/ALS, etc as required. I also found an online course for child/adol psych pharmacology that I am willing to enroll in at my own expense.
The terrible thing is I am SO much more prepared to do this work now that I would have been right out of school. My caseload was made up of 128 kids, and at least 65% of them had at least one mental health diagnosis, most had more than one. I have worked closely with kids/teens, their families (some bio/some foster), their therapists, their psychiatrists, etc to form treatment plans, goals, med evaluations, etc. I have been to so many "staffings" I have lost count. Sure....I have never been a psych nurse, but I am confident I could do it...and do it well.
Any advice how to get my foot in the door somewhere? I have a strong preference for child/adol or perhaps MRDD units. The recruiter I spoke to said she would ask some of the nurse managers if they had any interest in me, but she didn't seem overly confident. I don't want to rely on her.
Thanks in advance!