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4 tips to help you restart your nursing career after an absence

iStockphoto | ThinkStock + Scrubs

iStockphoto | ThinkStock + Scrubs

With an economy still struggling to pull itself out of the recession and a drastically changing nurse job market, finding a job can be a struggle for any nurse, whether you’re a new grad or have many years of experience. Some nurses even find themselves in the unique position of having previously been a nurse and taken a large amount of time off…and now want to return to the nursing profession.

If you find yourself in this position (or think you may be on the job hunt soon), we’ve put together a few tips you that can improve your chances of hearing “you’re hired” after your interview!

1. Decide what type of nurse job you want

This, of course, depends on a variety of factors, including your education, previous work experience and future goals. Some of the following tips will address the specifics of what you will need to do to meet those goals, but it is important to make a plan with an end goal of where you want to work and what position you want before you start your job search preparation. This can ensure you do everything you need to to land the job that’ll get you back into the workforce.

2. Decide what education you’ll need to get you back up to speed

If you’re not currently licensed in your state, you’ll need to take the steps to earn this licensure, typically through refresher courses. These requirements vary by state, and you can find them through your state’s nursing board.

In addition, you may decide that the new positions you will be seeking require additional education and degrees. For those with an associate’s degree, this can mean going back for a BSN, and those looking to go into advanced practice may look into a master’s degree or a doctorate.

If you are looking to go back to school before getting started on the second phase of your career, we’ve made it easy to check out what the schools in your area offer with our Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools.

3. Get up to speed with the modern job search

This is probably something you already know, but not only has the nurse job market changed, the entire way we look for jobs is dramatically different today.

The biggest driver of change is, of course, the internet, which is likely where you’ll be submitting your resumes. Moreover, the internet has made it much easier to network and find jobs, and we’ve got some specific tips for how you can use social media to help land your job here.

4. Volunteer

Reentering the nursing profession can be something of a shock for some, particularly if they’ve been out of the industry for many years. One way to better prepare yourself is by volunteering–and this also may help you to land that job by providing much-needed recent experience!

Have you reentered the nursing industry after a long absence? Let us know your tips and how you did it in the comments below. Also let us know if you’re considering going to nursing and what kind of questions you have!

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