Why do I need a nursing refresher program and which one is right for me?
Due to the economy and the continuing nursing shortage, many nurses who left the profession are looking to get back into nursing. Whether you took time off to raise a family, dabbled in another profession, or took a sabbatical for other reasons, don't stress about how you are going to jump back into nursing.
Many nurses, particularly those who have been working in settings other than hospitals, are also looking to move back to bedside nursing, seeking a more stable job and better benefits. These nurses would benefit from refresher programs as well.
Yes, things may have changed since you were hospital nursing, but there are plenty of refresher courses offered to get you quickly updated! Below are the three main ways to locate refresher courses:
Check with Local Hospitals
Living in a metropolitan area with many large hospitals, I often see advertisements from hospitals in the area seeking to hire nurses with a myriad of backgrounds. These organizations are attempting to attract quality professionals by offering paid refresher courses and sign on bonuses. If you are thinking of getting back into nursing, check out similar opportunities in your area.
Online Nursing Refresher Programs and Courses
If you prefer to start independently, online refresher courses are for you! Many people are hesitant to initially attend live refresher courses because they feel their skill and knowledge levels are not up to par. You can start with an online refresher course. This is also perfect for the person who does not have the time to commit to weekly classes. Many online refresher courses can be completed on your own time and at your own pace. Not only do you get the knowledge you need, but you have a certificate after completion that looks great on a resume!
If you are competing against a similar nurse for a job, and you have completed a refresher course while he/she has not, you may have the upper hand. Ensure any online refresher courses that you plan to complete are approved and/or recognized by your State Board of Nursing.
Live College Refresher Courses
Again, you will need to research your local area. I found a great refresher course that combines classroom instruction with a nursing preceptorship at local hospitals. The college is located about one hour from me, so it would be doable if I wanted to go.
The best way to get started is to research your local hospitals and healthcare facilities, online courses for nurses, and your local college. Additionally, check with your State Board of Nursing for any recommendations they may have. Once you have completed the research, choose the program which best fits your current life situation and learning style.
If you have returned to nursing after having taken time off, we would love for you to leave a comment sharing some words of encouragement for those looking to re-enter the profession.
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