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RN Refresher: Trying to get back into the field after 5 years

by LMN11 LMN11 (New) New Nurse Student

Hello everyone,

I am going to be starting the process soon of trying to get back into the nursing field after 5 years. To make a long story short, I joined the Navy immediately after graduating nursing school, and spent my time as an officer onboard ships rather than being a nurse (this occurred due to complicated manning issues, and at the time I did not care, just wanted to serve knowing I could potentially always fall back on nursing).

Anyway so I what I want to know is how feasible is it to become a nurse after a 5 year hiatus of doing no nursing whatsoever. I passed my NCLEX and have kept my license current in the state of CA. I would 100% need to take a RN refresher course (there is one in my town with about 100 hours of classroom time and about 156 hours of clinical time). Is this enough? How likely is it that I will be able to be hired into a new grad program? What areas of nursing do you recommend me trying to start out in? Let me know what you guys think, thank you!

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

1. That amount of time in your refresher sounds excellent. If you divide it out, it's like a full semester's time of clinical. Make as many contacts during the experience as you can, as you never know when knowing someone can lead to an opportunity.

2. re: new grad programs - probably not, but facilities can bend their rules however they see fit

3. In short, it's usually a good idea to get your feet wet in med-surg; that can be a career in and of itself, or a good springboard to a different specialty. Big question, though, - what are you interested in doing?

4. Have you considered the VA? As a vet, you'll get special hiring preference...

I hear that many get job offers after their clinical hours in their RN Refresher program. Usually in Med-Surg but an excellence way to get back in the door. Good Luck!

You can get hired in the VA NOT being a veteran? I had no idea!