NURSE REENTRY PROGRAM FOR NURSES LIVING IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA- Q&A
Q: How many parts are there to the Reentry Program and how long does each take?
- Board of Nursing application and meeting with AHEC coordinator (MUST BE AN RN) (6 wks - 2 months).
- Didactic (self-study, once temporary license is granted) (1 - 3 weeks).
- Clinical (1 - 3 months).
The variance is usually controlled by the reentry student who decides how quickly to complete each part.
Q: What will I need to do to enroll in your Reentry Program?
A: Download, complete, and return to Board, the Georgia Board of Nursing application and state that you want to enroll in SOWEGA-AHEC's Board-approved, Nurse Reentry Program. If your name has changed, include a copy of marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order. You must be living in the 38-county SOWEGA-AHEC region (see county listing at www.sowega-ahec.org) in order to be considered as a potential reentry student for our AHEC.
Q: Who completes Form A, B, and C for the Board of Nursing?
A: The AHEC, after you send in the rest of the application.
Q: Prior to meeting with the AHEC's nurse reentry coordinator, what do I need to do?
- Get a history and physical exam (within last 6 months) that states you are in good health. No specific form needs to be used.
- Get PPD or chest Xray (if history of positive PPD skin test within past 12 months).
- Get Tetanus/Diptheria booster within past 12 months.
- Provide AHEC with proof of current immunizations for MMR (or Rubella titer), polio, DPT, and Varicella virus and Hepatitis B series. Tetanus/Diptheria booster required within the last 12 months. Positive antibody titers are acceptable. If you have not had Hep B series, begin them.
- Provide proof of current American Heart Association CPR certification. This must be valid for entire reentry supervised practice time period.
Q: How long will the entire reentry program take?
A: It takes anywhere between two to six months, depending on how much time you devote to completing the didactic (self-study) and clinical hours.
Q: After I meet with the AHEC's reentry coordinator, how soon can I begin?
A: When Board of Nursing issues your temporary license you may set up an appointment.
Q: How does the didactic portion work?
A: You receive a 28-module self-study notebook from AHEC. You take a test after each module, submit all 28 tests when you are through with all modules, and you must pass with a minimum score of 80% on each module, in order to move into the clinical phase. The tests are open book. If you do not pass a module, you can restudy the module 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.
Q: What is the cost for the entire program?
A: $800 to be paid in two payments; $400 when you enter the program and the remaining $400 prior to starting clinicals.
Q: Are there any other costs associated with the program?
A: You will have to pay for your immunizations, physical exam, malpractice, CPR training, background check, and the Board of Nursing application fee.
Q: How often will I meet with AHEC Reentry Coordinator?
A: Once at the beginning, and will continue to communicate via phone or email throughout the process.
Q: I have not practiced in the last four years, do I need a reentry program?
A: 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."
Q: I haven't practiced for years, do you think I can do this?
A: Yes, yes, yes. We have been doing this for over five 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 and obtaining a job.
Q: What if I do not finish the Reentry program within the six months in which my temporary license has been issued?
A: You must reapply to the Board of Nursing and start the process over.
Q: Who actually contacts the facility to obtain a preceptor?
A: The AHEC's reentry coordinator. The AHEC will work with you to identify someone at a hospital.
Q: Do I have to do the 160 hours in a hospital?
A: Most likely, as this is a preference of the Georgia Board of Nursing to regain necessary skills.
Q: May I have more than one clinical preceptor for my experience?
Q: What role does the clinical site play?
A: They allow you to attend their hospital orientation (this doesn't count towards your 160 hours); they identify a qualified RN, who has practiced at least 18 months, to supervise you; and they allow you to spend 160 hours of supervised time in the hospital in order to help you reenter the workforce. You will not get paid while doing the 160 hours of clinicals.
Q: Will I have to have a criminal background check?
A: 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.
Q: Is an institution obligated to let me do the clinicals if something negative shows up in my background check?
Q: Who arranges the actual hours I will work during my clinicals?
A: You and the preceptor work together to make those arrangements, but you must document the actual days and hours worked and submit that information to AHEC at the end of your clinicals.
Q: Will the hospital require that I work for them once I finish the Reentry Program?
A: No, but they are probably hoping that their investment in you will yield some hours worked at their hospital. Usually hospitals have offered reentry nurses jobs once they complete the program. Of course, there is no guarantee or obligation by either party.
Q: Are there certain competencies I must demonstrate during the clinical experience?
A: Yes, you and your preceptor will be given a copy of them.
Q: Do I have to work 12-hour shifts?
A: No, you may work as many hours with your preceptor as you like; it's usually an 8- or 12-hour shift.
Q: If I work 7AM to 3PM and take 30 minutes for lunch, how many hours will I get credit for towards the needed 160 hours?
A: 7.5 hours. Lunches do not count as part of the 160 hours.
Q: What do I wear to work?
A: Ask your preceptor what is appropriate for that hospital and her/his floor.
Q: Do I need malpractice liability insurance?
A: Yes, but you will not be eligible to obtain it until you obtain your temporary license from the Board of Nursing. You must have this proof prior to beginning clinicals.
Q: Do I need accidental health insurance (medical coverage) during my supervised practice period?