Thinking of a career change from your current one where you have invested time, acquired education and pursued a career, changing course might seem like the last thing you want to do, as a career change can be daunting. It takes an exceptional person to be a nurse. And, if you are thinking of a nursing career, you are exceptional.
There may be many reasons for a career change: maybe your current career trajectory doesn’t appeal to you anymore, the job is not challenging, you have a fear of getting laid off or you want to serve society and make an impact. If you have empathy and passion for humanity, a career switch to nursing can fulfill all your dreams.
A career change to nursing
The advent of COVID-19 three years ago has forced many people to take a hard look at their careers. If you have lost your job or are sick of your current career, a move into the nursing profession could be the best thing.
There has always been a shortage of nurses, and COVID-19 has fueled it further. It is projected that the employment of registered nurses is going to grow by 9%, year over year, and for nursing specializations, the projected growth is over 40%. Now’s the right time to enter the nursing profession, as nursing jobs will be in demand, and they will pay well. It is never too late to become a nurse.
Through online nursing degrees for non nurses, anyone can switch their careers to nursing. Programs like Baylor Distance Accelerated BSN can help non-nurses gain a degree in nursing along with sufficient clinical experience. These programs combine the usual teaching methodologies, clinical experiences and hybrid interactive courses. Such programs can help you shift to a profession that is not only rewarding financially but is also a personally satisfying career.
Is nursing the right career for you?
Ask yourself, “Is it the right career for me?” While you may be drawn to nursing for various personal and professional advancement reasons, make sure it’s a good fit before diving in. Some skills and qualities that will make you a good nurse are:
- Empathy toward others who are defenseless or in need: Caring for others is at the core of nursing.
- Ability to work under high pressure: For patients’ well-being, nurses must perform in emergencies.
- Excellent communication skills: The ability to communicate is crucial for effective healthcare.
- Eye for details: Alertness for micro detail for identifying life-threatening situations is vital.
Benefits of transitioning to a nursing career
A nursing career can be an excellent choice of profession for any individual looking for a career change or a second career because it touches on many different aspects of human life. It is a unique combination of soft and hard skills that include analytical, theoretical, communication, advocacy, personal, community service and nurturing.
Read on to find out more about the top benefits of choosing a change to a nursing career.
- Job opportunities: In general, there has been a shortage of healthcare persons for years worldwide. Nurses are always in high demand, and the requirement has boomed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Well-qualified and licensed/registered nurse practitioners and family nursing practitioners have been sought after.
- Job security: We are experiencing a drastic nursing shortage that is steadily worsening, so nurses have unrivaled job security. With high demand and short supply, jobs are more secure.
- Compensation: No matter what your level of experience or education is, you can enjoy some competitive and incomparable financial compensation. The compensation grows from a six-month certified nursing assistant program for becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant to the highest levels for master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.
- Flexibility: The nursing career provides unmatched flexibility. You can make a choice about how much time you want to spend while working as a full-time or a part-time nurse. You can even choose where you want to work, be it hospitals, nursing homes, old-age homes, schools, government and more. The work schedules are quite flexible, and you can pick where you want to live.
- Satisfaction: The “feel good” about what you contribute to society while performing demanding roles and making real and important differences in people’s lives on a daily basis is the most satisfying part for anyone.
- Advancement: In a multifaceted nursing career, the more you put into your education and performance, the more opportunities you get to grow. You get plenty of options at your disposal, and there are ample opportunities for advancement.
- Ability to influence the lives of others: Nursing is a helping profession, which means that it provides individuals with health and education services. You are directly assisting people in overcoming their suffering while providing care and education for them when you work in direct patient care.
A nursing career, while offering the satisfaction of helping others, extends diverse opportunities in healthcare administration, leadership, policymaking and teaching.
Just like any other career transition, switching to a nursing profession in the middle of your career path can be exciting as well as challenging, depending on your experience, your expectations and your past education. It takes a lot of determination to earn a degree in the field of nursing, but there are many options, ranging from half-year certification programs to four-year bachelor’s degree programs, to get the ball rolling.
How to pursue nursing profession as a second career
To change your career to nursing, the first step is to acquire nursing qualifications and certification. The time to switch to a nursing career would depend upon your current career, qualifications, experience and where you want to enter into the nursing career. After attaining the requisite nursing qualifications, you need to clear a certification test conducted by authorized nursing councils and earn a license to work as a professional nurse.
You are never too old to become a nurse. If you are physically fit to handle the day-to-day nurse duties, you can pursue nursing as a career. There are several examples where people in their 30s, 40s or 50s have switched to a nursing career.