RN Reentry Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please take a moment to read through these frequently asked questions to determine if Foothills AHEC's RN Reeentry Program meets your needs. Please note: You must be living in  Foothills AHEC's 31-county  service area in order to be considered for the program. Click your county on this map to determine which AHEC can assist you.

 
GENERAL INFORMATION

How long will the entire program take to complete?

Anywhere from 2-4 months

Does the program have a scheduled start date?

No. There are no scheduled start dates or deadlines for enrollment. The only deadlines are those set by the state due to the expiration date on your application and the expiration of your temporary license.

Can I participate in this program if I have a current nursing license?

Yes. The program is useful as a refresher to brush up on your skills and to make you more marketable as an employee.

I have not practiced in the last 4 years. Do I need a reentry program?

GBON 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."

I have not practiced for many years. Do you think I can do this?

Yes. Nurses who have been out of the field for as many as 17 years have successfully completed the program and obtained a job.

How often will I meet with the RN Reentry Coordinator throughout the program?

You will meet with the RN Reentry Coordinator approximately three times: 

  1. To be issued the self-study modules
  2. ​To receive the clinical nursing practice packet before you start your supervised clinical nursing practice
  3. To finalize the completion of the clinical practice hours

The RN Reentry Coordinator may also communicate with you via phone and email.

What are my obligations after completing the program?

Upon completion of the program, you will receive follow-up communication from Foothills AHEC staff regarding your employment status. In order to continue providing this program, tracking its success by identifying where our participants obtain employment is important. Please let us know your place of employment and in what county it is located.

What if I do not finish the program within the 6 months for which my temporary license has been issued?

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

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SELF-STUDY MODULES

How does the self-study component work?

You will be issued a notebook consisting of 28 sections to be completed at home as a self-study.  At the end of each section you will find a test to complete. Upon completing all 28 tests, the RN Reentry Coordinator will grade them.

  • You must pass with a minimum score of 80% on each section or module.
  • The tests are open book.
  • If you do not pass a module, you can restudy and retake the test with no penalty.

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that you have regained basic knowledge in each of the 28 areas.

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CLINICAL PRACTICE

Who actually contacts the clinical site to obtain a preceptor?

The RN Reentry Coordinator will work with one of our affiliated hospitals to identify a preceptor.  You may also help locate a clinical site near your area. This is a partnership between our program and the enrollee to identify a preceptor and clinical site.

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

The clinical setting must be a Board-approved site. 

  • The most common location type is in an acute care medical center.
  • Another option is an outpatient multi-system surgical center; however, the center must do a variety of outpatient surgeries (i.e. not solely an eye clinic). 
  • A long-term acute care facility (LTAC) is also an acceptable clinical site. An LTAC is a facility that averages greater than a 25+ days of stay  and provides diagnostic medical treatment to patients. An LTAC provides care for patients who have complex medical problems and are too ill to be placed in a skilled care facility. 
  • Another choice is a public health department offering multi-system care.  This would be a location that provides a variety of services and disease management programs.

May I have more than one clinical preceptor?

Usually not, but on rare occasions a program participant may have two preceptors.

What role does the clinical site play?

In addition to providing you with a preceptor, the clinical site allows you to spend 160 hours in their hospital/facility for the required clinical experience.  The clinical site usually requires some type of interview and ultimately decides if they will provide you with a preceptor.  You will not receive pay for your clinical time.

Will I have to have a criminal background check?

Each clinical site requires some type of background check. We will inform you of how to proceed once the clinical site has been identified. This is separate from the background check required by GBON, to which individual clinical sites do not have access.

Is a clinical site obligated to allow my clinical practice if something negative shows up in my background check?

No.

Can I choose which shift and which unit I would like to do my clinical practice?

No. The shift and unit are assigned based on the availability at the clinical site. You may state your preference for shifts, but there is no guarantee you will be assigned that shift. There are certain times when it is harder to place you in a familiar clinical area or in one that matches your previous  work background.  If you have never worked in a specialty area, then you will not be placed in that area (ex. labor and delivery).  The purpose of the clinical practice component of the program is to refresh your skills, not to begin from scratch.  Our self-study modules are based on adult health; therefore, you will be placed in a clinical setting caring for adult patients.

Who arranges the actual hours I will work during my clinical practice?

The clinical site and the unit manager determine what shifts you will be required to work depending on the preceptor they have available for you. You will work the same hours and shift as your preceptor, so you and your preceptor work out a schedule together. Most preceptors work three shifts per week. You may opt to work your preceptor's exact schedule, or you may opt to work the minimum number of shifts the clinical site requires of you per week.  The schedule must be provided to the RN Reentry Coordinator.

Do I have to work 12-hour shifts?

Shifts vary by the clinical site and unit in which you are placed. Most nurses working in an acute care hospital are on a 12-hour shift schedule. You are assigned to work the hours your preceptor works. If you are unable to work a  12-hour shift, you may want to consider another type of clinical setting. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so, we encourage you to notify the clinical site in the interview process for consideration when identifying a preceptor. This will hopefully avoid issues that might prevent you from having a successful clinical practice experience. Please let us know if there are any accommodations we need to be aware of to work with or help you.

Will the clinical site require that I work there once I finish the program?

No, not at most of the clinical sites affiliated with the program. A number of reentry nurses have been offered jobs upon completion of the program at the clinical site following their supervised practice. Your supervised clinical practice hours are an excellent time to learn about employment opportunities at the clinical site. The application process for the clinical site must be initiated if interested in employment.

Are there certain competencies I must demonstrate during clinical practice?

Yes. You and your preceptor will be given a copy of the required clinical competencies.

Do I need insurance during my clinical practice?

Yes. You need both liability insurance and accidental health insurance (medical coverage).

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© 2020 by Foothills Area Health Education Center 

329 Oak Street, Suite 101 | Gainesville, GA 30501 | Tel: 770-219-8130

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