I have been out of nursing for the last four years and am wondering if I need to take a refresher course. I worked primarily in labor and delivery and feel like I could go back and remember everything, but most hospitals prefer you to not have been out of practice more than three years. The only area I feel I am weak in is pharmacology. Would it be a worthwhile investment?
Dear Donna replies:
Rather than enrolling in a refresher course, I would suggest that you get in touch with your old and current contacts in nursing and healthcare (MDs and others), especially those at your last place of employment. Let folks know you are looking and want to get back in. Ask for advice and leads. Networking is well known to be a great way to find and get a job.
You also should get out to local chapter meetings of AWHONN (www.awhonn.org), whether or not you are a member (you can attend as a guest). When there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those currently doing that thing.
You also might consider volunteering somewhere related to your preferred specialty now while you continue to seek paid employment. Consider Planned Parenthood, a birthing center or clinic, etc. This will help you to get up to date with information and trends and make good contacts. Besides, volunteering often leads to paid employment. It also will give you some recent relevant experience to discuss on an interview.