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I'm a nurse in Germany, but am planning to return to the U.S. How can I make myself more marketable from over here?

Wednesday March 6, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I graduated with an associate degree in nursing in 2003. I worked for three years in a step-down/intermediate care unit, then another two years on a postpartum unit.

I've been a nurse with the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine for five years, stationed overseas with my husband. We have an option to return to the U.S. at the end of this year or in two years.

With the job market being as tight as it is, I am thinking of starting on my BSN while here in Germany. I haven't been able to find a program that doesn’t require me to be stateside at one point or another. We are residents of Texas, so I was hoping to find an online program from a university in Texas to minimize the cost, if possible.

What are your suggestions on how I can make myself more marketable from over here? Do you know of any RN-to-BSN programs that are completely online, and are there waiting lists for online programs?

Overseas Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Overseas Nurse,

You are wise to start working on your BSN now in preparation for eventually coming back to the U.S. There are no waiting lists for any of these programs. The waiting lists are only for basic (entry into practice) programs.

There are some RN-to-BSN programs that are completely online. To find them, do an Internet search for "RN to BSN 100% online." If your search doesn't turn up anything in Texas, I would suggest you contact the Texas Nurses Association (www.texasnurses.org/). It doesn't matter whether you are a member. You can email some of the officers (www.texasnurses.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=10) and explain your situation and your goals. Ask for help in finding what you're looking for.

Here's an article you may find helpful: “Master the scholarship game” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game).

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.