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What is the best way for me to reenter the nursing field after 15 years?


Dear Donna,

I am a BSN who has not worked for 15 years, but have kept my license current. I would like to reenter the nursing field part time. What is the best way for me to do this?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Unsure,

For starters, know that the job market for nurses has changed significantly since you last worked. The hospital job market is very competitive, and for the most part employers are interested only in nurses with current hospital experience. But that’s OK, because care in general is shifting into the ambulatory care (outpatient) setting, the home, and alternate care settings such as long-term care, rehab, etc. Even though you’re not a new nurse, there is information and advice in this article that will help you

Start volunteering somewhere healthcare related, while you look for paid employment. Volunteering will give you recent experience to put on your resume, build your work stamina and confidence, help you to hone old skills and learn new ones, and expand your professional network. Volunteering often leads to paid employment. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. Consider volunteering at a free clinic, blood bank, hospice or anywhere that interests you.

Join and get active in your local chapter of the American Nurses Association ( — attend local meetings as a guest for now. This will help you to reconnect with the nursing profession, get you up-to-date on issues, trends and information and further expand your professional network. It is well known that networking is a great way to find a job.

I also recommend that you read “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” ( to get your resume and interview skills up-to-date. Even these things have changed in the last 15 years. Attending my “Career Alternatives for Nurses” seminar would get you current with employment and hiring trends, identify transferable skills, provide specific company names of those hiring for part-time and nontraditional jobs, and get your networking and self-marketing skills up-to-date. See where I’ll be at

Transitioning back is a process, so be patient. Start creating positive momentum with the above suggestions, including those in the referenced article and the right opportunity eventually will present itself.

Best wishes,

By | 2012-08-01T00:00:00-04:00 August 1st, 2012|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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