Inactive Registered Nurses Returning to Practice: Barriers and Successes




Hobbs, Deborah Leigh

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This qualitative study describes the experiences of inactive registered nurses in their journey returning to nursing practice and the perceived and unexpected barriers and successes they met and overcame on their way. This study focused on the meaning of the situation and experiences of inactive registered nurses returning to practice. The qualitative research design of Dr. Joseph Maxwell was used as the model. Seventeen face-to-face interviews were conducted in March 2010. The purposive sample was of inactive registered nurses who had been inactive for at least five years and had completed a refresher course between 2007 and 2008 at either a community college or university in the metropolitan area of Washington, DC. In analyzing the context and process of how and why nurses return to practice, seven categories were revealed: the reasons to return, factors that inhibit returning, barriers of a refresher course, rewards of completing a refresher course, roadblocks of employment, rewards of returning to practice, and advice for all registered nurses. This qualitative study has the potential to pay tribute all nurses who practice the art of nursing by taking time to understand the meaning of the experience. This study provides a voice for the experiences of previously inactive registered nurses and reveals their barriers and successes in returning to practice.



Inactive, Registered Nurse, Retuaningto Practice, Refresher, Barriers, Successes