Maybe you left nursing to pursue motherhood for a little while or you changed career fields and it didn’t quite pan out as you’d expected. For whatever reason, you find yourself longingly looking at nursing jobs again. You may feel like your skills have fallen by the wayside during your time off and you’re not as confident as you once were, especially since the welfare of patients depends upon you. The good news is that colleges and hospitals offer nurse refresher programs designed for LPNs and RNs who have been out of the field for 3 years or more.
The basics of nursing jobs will be reviewed in both classroom and clinical settings. While some college-based programs may cost upwards of $2,000, often hospitals will pay for half of the program. Other students may use signing bonuses they received from their nursing jobs to cover the cost of tuition. A few schools – like Michigan State University, the University of Delaware and Beaufort Memorial Hospital (SC) – allow students to complete four months of online courses for $800. Often, people in the courses will begin nursing jobs where they do their clinical, so it’s a win-win situation.
Even people who remain in nursing jobs for years are subject to refresher courses. Nurses will routinely participate in stations that include training for wound care, respiratory and vascular therapies, pain management and infection control. This helps them remain current with the latest medications, equipment and technology – which may change every few years. Typically, these programs are much cheaper (around $300) and may be covered by the employer.