RN refresher course starts Jan. 9

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It has never been easier for an inactive registered nurse to get back into the profession. Yampa Valley Medical Center is one of several sites in Colorado that will host an RN refresher course in 2004.

Monday is the registration deadline for the course, which begins Jan. 9.

"This is an ideal class for inactive RNs who feel out of touch with today's pace," hospital Nursing Educator Julie Alkema said. "A nurse who feels uncertain about today's technology will get the necessary experience to be effective."

The 220-hour course includes 100 interactive hours of theory taught at YVMC on Fridays, Jan. 9 to April 16. Students also will complete 80 hours of clinical experience in the hospital's medical-surgical department with approved instructors. Each student can then select a specialty area in which to finish 40 hours of elective experience.

"It is designed for nurses who have been out of the career for at least three years," hospital spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said. "It is a review of systems and current standards of practice. A nurse who has been inactive that long cannot just walk in and get a job."

Participants must either have a current Colorado nursing license, a temporary work permit from the Colorado Board of Nursing or be working with the Colorado Board of Nursing to reactivate their licenses either before or during the class; the class does not offer licensing.

"We're pleased to host this class through the Western Colorado Area Health Education Center because it allows RNs to stay in the community," Alkema said. "The $1,600 program fee is much less than it would cost to quit a job and move to the metro area for a few months to take classes."

To register, or to obtain more information, call YVMC Human Resources Coordinator Dawn LaPlaca at 870-1118.

"Because Jan. 9 is coming up quickly and the winter can be a busy time in Steamboat Springs, we are also planning to host another session of classes this summer," Alkema said. "We will publish the dates as soon as we have them."

For people interested in pursuing a nursing career who are not already licensed, Colorado Northwest Community College offers a two-year education program that allows people to obtain their RN license. For information on that program, look online at www.cncc.edu/programs/ nursing%20web/default.htm or contact Marilyn Bouldin at 824-1119 or marilyn.bouldin@cncc.edu.

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