seeking advice on catch-up education for re-licensure

U.S.A. California


Specializes in HIV, oncology.

Hi - I'm a middle-aged no-longer-practicing RN in San Francisco, out of the field for 17 years, in the process of exploring whether I want to try to re-enter the field. My license is delinquent >8 years, so I know I would need to both retake the NCLEX and do a bunch of CE.

I'm looking for general advice on where & how I might best pursue this catch-up learning; I'd especially like to hear from anyone who's actually been in a situation like this after a long career detour. When I originally graduated and took the NCLEX it was a different world, 1999, other side of the country. I know I will need to do a lot. I'm just unsure where to start in terms of researching courses/books/programs; I don't really know anyone in the field any more, so I'm just doing a bunch of web searches, and everything looks kind of the same online without any informed opinions. Besides worrying about passing the NCLEX, I'm also trying to get an idea of where I should look for CE & refresher courses that would actually help me recover my skills and not just look OK on paper.

My work in the past was mostly focused on HIV care and oncology in the public sector - worked in a variety of settings, don't yet know exactly what I'd be looking for except that I don't think I could handle acute care any more. But right now I'm mostly just trying to get a sense of what I'd need to commit to in terms of basic retraining.

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