I have been disabled for nine years. I have more good days than bad and am thinking of re-entering nursing on a per diem basis. What would I have to do to get up to speed? Are there educational requirements I need to consider?
Dear Donna replies:
If youre thinking about re-entering the hospital job market, keep in mind the market is very tight in most parts of the country right now, especially for nurses who have been out of the hospital workforce for any length of time. I’m not saying you shouldnt try, but I want you to know that things have changed dramatically in the last nine years.
If you want to pursue this, you need to take an RN refresher course for starters. Taking an IV and CPR certification course also would be helpful. FYI, many hospitals are hiring nurses only with BSN degrees. This is a national trend. You dont mention what your educational background is.
As soon as possible, you should start volunteering in a healthcare setting as a way to ease your way back into the paid workforce. It helps you to build (and test) physical and emotional stamina to return to regular work. It also gives you some recent relevant experience to put on your resume and discuss on an interview. Besides, volunteering often leads to paid employment.
Additionally, you should get out to local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association even as a guest if not a member. This is a great way to get reconnected to your profession. It’s also a good way to get up to date with knowledge, trends, issues and information. And networking is well known to be a great way to find and get a job.
If you really want to get back to work I suggest you also consider non-traditional options. For many of them you would not necessarily need to take a refresher course or IV/CPR certification. Also, the BSN might be less of an issue. You might want to attend my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminars to fully explore your options, many of which are suitable for nurses with disabilities.