Whether it’s to pursue another occupation or career goal, raise a child, or travel the world, when a nurse takes a break from the profession, reentry into the medical field can be tough. The demands of the job and technology change so quickly, missing any amount of time can leave you feeling unprepared as you relaunch your nursing career. If you’ve taken a break from nursing and plan to return to the field, here are some tips to get engaged before your comeback.
Maintain Your Credentials
If you’re in the midst of a career shift, or considering one, consider working enough to meet the requirements to maintain proper nursing licensing for employment. Note your continued education (which can be included on your résumé), which is especially important in states where a minimal number of CE credits are mandated.
Even if you know you’ll be out of the daily practice, keep an eye on seminar opportunities, online courses, or a change in healthcare policies. In an industry that’s constantly evolving, you’ll stay on the forefront of new developments and feel confident when it’s time to make your return.
Address The Gap
The employment gap on your résumé needs to be addressed. Several months, even years, away from nursing has the potential to raise red flags to prospective employers. If you can write a strong résumé and cover letter to explain the time period, go for it. If you’re uneasy about how to address it on paper, enlist the help from a career coach or professional résumé writer.
Networking To No End
When it’s time for a comeback, lean on former colleagues, managers, and local nursing professionals – even online groups – to be aware of employment opportunities, job fairs, and strategies implemented by local organizations. Networking is a worthwhile way to get your foot in the door and it sure beats submitting countless résumés and applications with no response. Authentic connections in the industry will give you insight into where you may be a good fit to restart your nursing career.
Be aware of nursing organizations that meet in your area. Attending those events is a great way to make connections and develop networking relationships.
Maintain your memberships to different groups and organizations that pertain to your nursing career. Not only will you stay in contact with people who have insight into the industry, but you’ll stay in the know with budding challenges within the profession and legislative changes that could affect nurses.
Staying connected to social media and trustworthy websites will keep you up to date on the latest news in nursing – pay rates, challenges, and medical trends. Stay educated and informed through reputable articles, videos, and blogs.
Even if you’re unsure of your return date, staying engaged – online and in person – will ensure you’re ready to jump back into nursing when the time is right. A passion for nursing won’t be dissolved by a hiatus. Stay in tune with the industry and your return will be much easier.