I’ve been out of work for years and want to reenter the workforce. What needs to be done as far as reinstating my license? Do I need to take some training to further my education or get updated on new procedures?
Dear Donna replies:
Every state has different requirements for reinstating your nursing license. The first thing to do is check with your state board of nursing. Find them at www.ncsbn.org/515.htm. You should be able to find the information online. You also can call or e-mail them. Some boards respond best to e-mail, but use whatever works. And to find out what CE course/credits (if any) are required, go to ce.nurse.com/RStateReqmnt.aspx.
Some states require that you take a refresher course before reinstating (again, check the regulations in your state first). But if you want to return to the clinical setting and have been away for more than a few years, you will likely need to take one anyway. (This may not be necessary to work in non-traditional, non-patient care areas). These are offered by colleges, universities and sometimes by healthcare facilities. Contact your state board and/or state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org) to find courses in your area. Look for a comprehensive course that includes both classroom and clinical time with a preceptor.
In the meantime, I would suggest you start to reconnect to your profession by reading some nursing journals. You can get out to the library of a local college that offers nursing degrees or to a local hospital medical library and browse in their periodical section. Generally, you don’t need to be a student or an employee to use their facilities just for reading and research. And use online continuing education courses such as those offered at ce.nurse.com.
Consider volunteering somewhere healthcare related while you’re getting your license reinstated and taking a refresher course. This will help to build your confidence and give you a chance to hone old skills and learn new ones. Volunteering is a great way to ease back into the profession and get your feet wet.