How Do You Prepare For A Second Career In The Nursing Profession?


Today, changing careers is not considered unusual, especially in the field of nursing.

Many of the nurses in your local hospital or physician’s office may have worked in other jobs before choosing to enter the profession.

Some people feel compelled to move into the medical world, while others may struggle more with taking the leap. The decision might not be easy, but if you are hoping to become a nurse, it’s an achievable career move.

Whatever stage you are at in life, it’s never too late to retrain as a nurse. In fact, as practitioners are in demand at home and abroad, you’ll always be able to find employment. As a result of the global nursing shortage, Baylor University has created accessible courses, such as the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (ABSN).

It’s a great option for people who have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject and are considering a new career. Students can graduate after 45 weeks of online study, and this includes a clinical placement that introduces them to life on a busy ward.

Don’t Let Worries Hold You Back

There are various reasons why starting a new career can be daunting, and many people feel they are too old to fit in. Although you might see mainly young faces when the profession is advertised on glossy posters, in fact, according to the Journal of Nursing Regulation, the average age of a registered nurse is 52 years old.

If you have concerns about lacking the energy to keep up with younger colleagues, try to turn that around. Age brings confidence, better stress management abilities, and other skills that improve with work experience.

Look Into The Profession So You Know What To Expect

Thorough research is the only way to know what you’ll be facing before you become a nurse.

This will help you develop a better idea of whether this new role is right for you and if it will fit in with other commitments, such as your family. If you have a friend who works as a nurse, have a chat with them about their experience.

Ask what nursing school was like compared to what their expectations were and how the job compares to what they thought it would be. Also, find out how they manage to achieve a good work-life balance and stay healthy, as well as what they find most rewarding about caring for others.

Hearing more from someone who lives the career every day will ensure your expectations remain realistic.

Get Some Hands-On Experience

Shadowing a nurse as they go about their daily tasks can help you to decide whether this is the right career path. The experience can confirm that you have what it takes and provide important insight into the work. It might even give you an idea of what specialty you would like to follow after graduating.

Finding a nurse to shadow is easier if you have a friend or family member in the profession, failing that then the direct approach could be just as effective. Get in touch with your local hospital and speak to someone in human resources to ask about opportunities at their facility.

Alternatively, you might want to volunteer on a ward or in a clinic for a few days a week, this will get your foot in the door and give you access to nurses who might later agree to be shadowed.

Prepare Yourself For A New Education

Understanding what the job will entail is one thing, but before facing that hurdle, you’ll have college life to contend with. To gain the confidence and the ability to focus on your education, ask friends who have gone back to university in later life or educate yourself about the process online.

Remote learning gives you more freedom while you study, but you’ll still need to consider when and where you will be working. Create a study space at home and let your family know you plan to write or research at certain times or on specific days. That way they can keep you out of the way and give you the opportunity to get things done.

Learn More About Issues In The World Of Nursing

The medical sector is constantly changing, so it makes sense to educate yourself on the latest developments. By researching the industry you’ll have an idea of what might affect your life as a new nurse and your future career in the profession. Look for blogs written by working nurses, browse the webpages of national associations and read stories related to the field in the news.

To best serve its patients, healthcare must continue to evolve. By understanding more about this process, you’ll have a richer experience in the classroom. You’ll be aware of issues that otherwise would have passed you by and gain a deeper understanding of healthcare from a range of perspectives.

In Times Of Doubt, Remember The Great Things About Nursing

Giving up a career, leaving behind colleagues, and starting a new phase in your life could leave you with feelings of doubt. During these times, reassure yourself by thinking about the amazing benefits that are part of the job.

Nurses turn their patients’ lives around, but they also experience incredible personal rewards. No two days are the same, so you’ll never feel bored or stuck in a rut. Sick leave, time off for vacations, and overtime when you need it is all available.

Additionally, the potential for career advancement is huge. If you put the work in and demonstrate growth, your dedication will be recognized with excellent remuneration and access to the highest positions. 

Experience Will Work In Your Favor

Nursing can be a challenge, but the creativity and experience you’ve acquired in a previous career will make it easier for you to adjust. Additionally, if you are considering a second career, making the move to nursing does not need to be complex. Once you’ve completed the initial training, you can specialize in a field that appeals to you and improve patients’ lives every day.

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