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A restorative nurse has the job of assisting patients in regaining life skills and abilities necessary for resuming their normal activities and regaining their independence. For example, a person with this job may help a patient relearn how to handle self-care tasks, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. The requirements you will have to meet to become a restorative nurse will likely depend on the jurisdiction in which you will work and your employer. Typically, however, you will have to complete a nurse education program and earn a license or certification. Many employers seek candidates who hold bachelor's degrees in nursing for this job, but you might also find some positions that require less education.
In most cases, you will need additional education to become a restorative nurse after finishing high school or earning a General Educational Development® (GED®). Requirements vary, but many employers give preference to individuals with bachelor's degrees in nursing. You may, however, find some positions in which an employer will accept an associate's degree or a diploma from a nursing program for this job. In fact, some employers hire nursing assistants and aides for restorative care, which means you could qualify after completing a short training program.
Often, nurse licensing is required when you want to become a restorative nurse. For example, you may need to provide documentation of your education and pass an exam to earn a registered nurse license. If you are applying to become a restorative nurse aide or assistant, however, you may only need to earn certification. As with a registered nurse licensing, this usually requires the completion of a training program and the passing of an exam.
Some restorative nursing positions are supervisory in nature. If you opt to pursue one of these positions, you will likely need a significant amount of nursing experience to qualify for this job. Some employers may want you to have at least three to five years of experience as a nurse, especially in a restorative care capacity, to qualify for a management position.
Besides basic nursing skills, you will likely need a range of other skills to become a restorative nurse. For example, you will need patience and the ability to communicate well in writing and verbally for most positions. Most employers will also expect you to be skilled in providing emotional support and educating patients on their conditions and what to expect from recovery. Critical-thinking and time-management skills are usually required as well.