RN Re-Entry Program Q&A

For more information on the RN Re-entry Program contact Kristie C. Washington, RN, BSN, Blue Ridge AHEC Nurse ReEntry/Continuing Education Coordinator, at 770-680-0823, or kwashington@blueridgeahec.org. Please send a Letter of Introduction and your CV/Resume in an email to Kristie Washington.

1. How many parts are there to the Reentry Program and how long does each take?

There are 2 parts.
1) Part one is didactic (self-study). You are given 2 weeks from the date that it is issued to complete.
2) Part two is the clinical portion. This portion consists of a minimum of 160 hours of supervised clinical practice. The length of time varies but is usually around 1-3 months.

2. What will I need to do to enroll in your Reentry Program?

Download an application form the Georgia Board of Nursing (BON) web site →

Complete and return the application for licensure to the BON and state that you want to enroll in Blue Ridge AHEC’s board-approved Nurse Reentry Program. If your name has changed, include a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order. You must be living in the 20 county Blue Ridge AHEC service area in order to be considered as a potential reentry student for our AHEC. Click this link to determine which AHEC Center services your county.

3. Who completes Form A, B and C for the Board of Nursing?

The AHEC, after you send in the application to the state.

4. Prior to meeting with the AHEC’s nurse reentry coordinator, what do I need to do?

  • A physical examination within the past six months indicating a good state of health
  • Documentation of a 2-step TB skin test unless documentation is provided of annual TB skin testing or documentation of a negative Quantiferon or TSpot test.  If past history of positive TB skin test, then a chest x-ray within the past 12 months (some facilities may require 6 months) with results within normal limits is required.
  • MMR -Two doses or documentation of positive Measles, Mumps and Rubella titers.
  • Documentation of Tdap within the last 10 years.  Td alone is not sufficient.
  • Varicella Vaccination two doses, or documented history of Chicken Pox disease or Varicella titer.
  • Documentation of polio immunization or titer.
  • Current American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers
  • Active malpractice liability insurance ($1,000,000 each incident, $4,000,000 aggregate).
  • Complete the Hepatitis B Series or show proof of immunity.
  • Active accidental health insurance (medical coverage)
  • May be other requirements based on the institution’s policies and procedures.

5. How long will the entire reentry program take?

It takes anywhere between 2 to 4 months.  The entire program must be completed in 6 months.

6. How often will I meet with the Coordinator?

You will meet approximately three times. You will meet to be issued the self-study modules. You will meet again to receive the clinical packet before you start your clinical time and then again at the completion of the clinical time. The coordinator may also communicate with you via phone and email.

7. How does the didactic portion work?

You will buy and receive an approved by the Ga Board of Nursing through our SOWEGA AHEC, Nurse Reentry Self Study notebook that you will use to  complete your didactic self-study. You will want to do further reading and updates in each section. The notebook consists of 28 sections and at the end of each section you will find a test to complete. You may submit these via email to the reentry coordinator for grading as pretests. After completing all sections, a Final Exam is given; proctored by the nurse reentry coordinator.  Once you have completed all 28 tests, the coordinator will grade them. You must pass with a minimum score of 80% on each section or module. If you do not pass a module, you can restudy and retake the test. There is no penalty. We are trying to ensure that you have regained basic knowledge in each of the 28 areas.

8. What is the cost for the entire program?

$800.00, which can be paid in two payments. The first payment of $400.00 dollars is collected when the Nurse Reentry Self Study materials (modules) are issued. The second payment of $400.00 is collected prior to beginning clinicals.

9. Are there any other costs associated with the program?

You will have to pay for your immunizations, physical exam, malpractice, CPR training, background check, and the Board of Nursing application fee.  Additional fees may be assessed based on the training institution’s policies and procedures.

10. I have not practiced in the last four years; do I need a reentry program?

The Board states: “Applicants that cannot document three months or 500 hours of licensed practice as a registered nurse within the last four years immediately preceding the date of application must complete a Board approved reentry program.”

11. I have not practiced for years; do you think I can do this?

Yes. We have been doing this for several years and have had nurses who have been out of nursing for as many as 17 years and they have been successful in completing the program.

12. What if I do not finish the Reentry Program within the six months in which my temporary license has been issued?

You must reapply to the Board of Nursing and start the process over.

13. Who actually contacts the facility to obtain a preceptor?

The AHEC’s reentry coordinator will work with one of our affiliated facilities/hospitals to identify a preceptor.  If there is not an approved facility in your area, AHEC will work with you to help identify and establish a site if possible.

14. Do I have to do the 160 hours in a hospital?

No, a hospital is not the only acceptable facility to complete your 160 hours of clinical training.  Please see the GA Board of Nursing website for approved facilities.

15. May I have more than one clinical preceptor for my experience?

It could be possible.  But it is a 1:1 ratio in working with a nurse.

16. What role does the clinical site play?

They allow you to attend their hospital orientation (this does not count toward your clinical hours); they identify a qualified RN, who has practiced at least one year, to supervise you; and they allow you to spend 160 hours of supervised time in the hospital in order to help you reenter the work force. You will not get paid during your 160 hours of clinical.

17. Will I have to have a criminal background check?

The Board of Nursing requires a criminal background check.  Follow their instructions on their website to obtain one.  In addition, some institutions require their own background check.  We will inform you of how to proceed once the institution has been identified.

18. Is an institution obligated to let me do the clinicals if something negative shows up in my background check?

No.

19. Who arranges the actual hours I will work during my clinicals?

The AHEC, re-entry candidate, and the preceptor work together to make those arrangements.  Be sure to document the actual days and hours worked and submit that information to AHEC at the end of your clinicals.

20. Will the facility/hospital require that I work for them once I finish the Reentry Program?

A number of reentry nurses have been offered jobs upon completion of the program at the facility following their clinical experience. The clinical practice part of the program is an excellent time to learn about employment opportunities at the facility.  Some training sites require a work commitment, however, there is no guarantee or obligation by either party.

21. Are there certain competencies I must demonstrate during the clinical?

Yes, you and your Supervising Nurse/preceptor will be given a copy of them.  They are typically the skills checklist used at that facility.

22. Do I have to work 12-hour shifts?

Shift hours vary by the facility and the department that you are placed in. It is usually an 8 or 12-hour shift depending upon the shift your Supervising Nurse/preceptor works.

23. Do I need insurance during my clinical time?

Yes, you need both medical liability insurance, health, and an accidental health insurance (medical coverage).

24. Can I choose which shift and which area I would like to do my clinical?

No. The clinical hours and unit are assigned based on the availability at the facility. You may state your preference for shifts/departments but that is not a guarantee that you will be placed on that shift.  It would be helpful if you have a resume stating your area of expertise.

25. Can I do this program if I have a current nursing license?

Yes, the program may be done if you have a current license and want a refresher to brush up on your skills and to make you more marketable as an employee.

26.  Can I participate in this program if I am licensed in another state?

Yes, first you have to submit an application to the Ga Board of Nursing for licensure by endorsement.  Once your application has been processed/reviewed, Ga Board of Nursing will notify you if a Reentry program is necessary.  To avoid processing delays, please be sure to include all required documentation with your application packet.

27. Does your program have a scheduled start date  for sessions?

There are no scheduled start times for our program or deadlines for enrollment. The only deadlines are those set by the state due to the expiration date on your application (1 yr) and the expiration of your temporary license (6 mo)  as well as what clinical facilities are available to accept reentry students.

 

For more information contact:  Kristie Washington, RN, BSN

RN Reentry/Continuing Education Coordinator @ 770-680-0823 or kwashington@blueridgeahec.org