News :Great Opportunities Abound for Re-entry Nurses
Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009
If there was ever a time to come back to nursing, it’s now. With the nation facing an acute nursing shortage and aging Baby Boomers set to place record demands on healthcare services, nursing regularly tops employment experts’ lists of jobs offering the greatest growth potential. More than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed within the next five years, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections published in the November 2007 Monthly Labor Review.
Nurses re-entering the healthcare workforce after an absence to raise family, care for a loved one, or follow a different career path are finding excellent job opportunities in nursing. At a time when the faltering economy is causing job losses in many industries, government analysts project that more than 587,000 new nursing positions will be created through 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Re-entry nurses bring maturity, commitment, well-honed critical thinking skills, and life experience to the healthcare workplace. Many returning nurses in their 40s and 50s are attracted to growing opportunities in home healthcare that offer part-time positions and flexible scheduling. Nurses who have taken only a short break from the profession, retained their license, and maintained continuing education requirements can usually return to nursing with only a short clinical reorientation. However, a break of five or more years, even when licensure requirements have been maintained, generally requires completion of a refresher course to update knowledge of technology, clinical procedures, and medications.
The first step to returning to nursing is to check with your state licensure board regarding requirements for reinstating your license. Some states require completion of a refresher course; others, successful completion of the National Council Licensing Examination. Some states require both, and employers may have their own refresher course requirements.
Refresher courses are available through community colleges, state universities, nursing schools, some hospitals, and online. Courses vary in length, intensity, and amount of clinical training and prerequisites. Choose a course that meets the requirements of your state licensure board and potential employer. Most nurses who have recently returned to nursing recommend completion of a refresher course, whether required or not, to reorient themselves to nursing and boost their confidence.