Things to think about when considering a career change to nursing
It is a huge decision at a young age, choosing which career path you want to embark on, and one that many people later realize was either the wrong choice in the first place or a choice which over time they have grown out of.
So, it comes as no surprise that when people reach a certain age many of them start considering a change in career and, for various reasons, nursing is a popular choice.
However, leaving an established career to start again in a new one is not a decision to be taken lightly. You need to consider if a change is feasible right now, how much extra stress it might involve and whether making the switch will be worth it in the long run.
You also need to think about whether nursing is the right choice for you as, although it can be enormously rewarding, it is also a lot of hard work and often emotionally draining.
This article aims to cover the main points you need to consider before deciding to take the plunge, so read on to discover if a career change into nursing is the right choice for you.
Do you really want to leave your current job?
This might seem like a silly question, but it is worth exploring why you are unhappy with your current career.
Delve deeply into your reasons – what exactly is it you are unhappy with? Is it the career or simply your current position that is not offering job satisfaction? Could extra training in the same field leading to a promotion be the solution you are looking for? Or, maybe it is actually your employer you don’t like and a move to another company would resolve your issues.
Think carefully about your answers and be honest with yourself. If you have genuinely fallen out of love with your current line of work then a career change would be a good choice, if that is a viable option for you.
If you do decide getting out is the only option, the next consideration you need to make is if nursing is really right for you.
Think about what it is that is attracting you to nursing and if you have the natural attributes a good nurse possesses.
If this is a good match for where your interests lie, are you mentally prepared to retrain and start from the bottom and are you in a good position financially in order to do this?
What can nursing offer?
If you have got through the first two sections and are still keen to make the leap into a nursing career, that’s great.
Nursing is a rewarding area to work in and for people with a caring instinct there is no better way to put it into practice in an extremely fulfilling career.
It offers many positives as a career choice, not least, excellent job security thanks in part to an aging population. The work is varied and fast paced, so there’s little chance you will ever get bored and for people who need flexible working hours, nursing could be the solution.
Because nursing is a sought-after profession across the globe, qualifications in this field also offer the opportunity to travel, seeing the world while you work.
Nursing offers diverse career options so you can choose an area that suits you best.
Options include Registered Nurse (RN), which is probably the first thing that springs to mind as these are the people who carry out the general nursing duties in hospitals and other medical settings.
There are also specialisms, such as medical-surgical nurse, ICU registered nurse, ER nurse. NICU nurse, oncology nurse, psychiatric nurse, radiology nurse, school nurse, the list goes on and on.
Training to become a nurse can take anything from two to four years and there are variety of different paths you can take depending on your current qualifications and the area of nursing you would like to get into.
A relevant degree will qualify you as a nurse, but a bachelor’s degree in nursing will put you above the competition looking for your first nursing role, so is something to consider.
There are opportunities for both in-person and online learning, so there is flexibility to suit people in varying circumstances.
You can find out more about the different nursing qualifications and learning paths from Marymount University, which offers nursing degrees at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
When considering what type and level of training you might choose, think about things like, are you going to need to keep an income coming in alongside your learning, is it feasible for you to up sticks and move to where you want to study, and how will your decision affect any family you have?
It might not be an easy decision, but if it is definitely what you want to do, asking the right questions and putting in some proper planning will help set you up for success in the long run.
Career progression opportunities
While the average annual salary for a nurse stood at a decent $73k per year, that’s not to say you cannot earn a whole lot more.
Some positions such as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist can earn as much as $180k.
In fact, there are many opportunities in nursing where a specialism can earn you in excess on $100k per annum including clinical nurse specialist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife and pain management nurse.
Changing career is a big step so it is important that you are completely sure about your decision before doing anything drastic.
When you have decided exactly the path you want to take, put in the right planning, be prepared for some hard work and maybe even some belt tightening while you get there, but do not let it put you off. Never let a few obstacles stand in the way of you and your dream job and keep in mind that escaping the career you hate and changing it for one you feel you have a true calling for will all be worth it in the end.