It is not unusual to feel that what you are studying or have studied in the past does not resonate with your personality, preference, or intellectual level. We often think we will be good at a certain subject, only to find out later that it is not our cup of tea. This is a common challenge students face when pursuing advanced degrees. Since there are so many subjects and subfields, making the right decision can be very intimidating. Hence, people who feel that they made a wrong decision should not feel ashamed or that their time got wasted. Instead, they should converse with their peers and professors who can guide them to return on a more suitable track.
It is important to highlight that years spent seeking education are never wasteful. They will always be a source of exposure and knowledge. However, at the same time, it is important to know when and how to take action. In this article, we will go through various reasons why you would want to shift your career pathway from the current one to nursing. Additionally, it will also highlight the multiple professions that can easily transition into nursing.
Reasons to transition into nursing
You’re passionate about healthcare.
The most significant reason to transition into the nursing profession is your passion for serving patients. Many nurses enter the job without a complete understanding of its challenges. It is common for these people to feel burdened by all the work that a nurse is expected to do. However, if someone enters this profession due to their interest and passion, it is less likely for them to feel overburdened. Moreover, these nurses perform well and are better at achieving bigger career milestones. Lastly, passion is a very important factor that helps people transition from one field to another because it allows them to stay motivated and not give up.
Nursing is a secure profession.
A crucial consideration when choosing a career is job security. People who work in the medical industry have stable and balanced careers. The need for healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been rising consistently over the years, and it is projected that this trend will continue. Aging populations, technological advancements, and governmental changes will all lead to an increase in the demand for specialist nursing staff. Therefore, nurses can look forward to having stable jobs all through their professional careers.
Nursing pays well
Nursing, in general, is a profession that pays well. In the US, it is counted among the highest-paid jobs. Your potential to earn well as a nurse depends on how well-educated you are. Your pay scale increases as soon as you become a nurse practitioner after completing your master’s in a specific nursing field or if you complete a DNP degree. Once you decide to transition into nursing from your current career, you can enroll in an accelerated RN program, such as the program offered by an accredited institution, Elmhurst University. It allows you to complete your nursing degree in two years or less. The largely online nature of such courses provides students with plenty of flexibility and, upon completion, significantly boosts earning potential.
There are a large number of possibilities to choose from
There are several possibilities in the nursing field for people with various interests. You can train to become a family nurse practitioner, senior nurse, pediatric nurse, ER nurse, critical care nurse, travel nurse, etc. It all depends on what interests you and the type of work you enjoy doing. Students should consider whether they prefer to be active in their work, whether they choose a desk-based role, and whether they wish to work in a background role or on the front lines. Everyone can discover something they enjoy, and the best part is that nursing is always changing. As a result, the number of subfields in the nursing sector will probably keep growing.
Constant professional development
In nursing, there are always fresh discoveries since the nursing and medical field is always evolving. Working in this industry enables you to remain abreast of all the most recent developments and fashions, providing you with an edge over other industry experts. Many medical institutions and companies also offer seminars or different types of continual education to assist in managing staff employees’ skills and competence.
The opportunity to serve humanity
A nursing career can be immensely personally fulfilling. The wonderful sensation of knowing you have enhanced someone else’s life never gets old. You will always be content and happy acknowledging that all of the effort you put in every day of the week is a source of comfort and happiness for others, whether it’s helping them through challenging therapies and procedures or just being there for them as they bounce back from a medical condition.
Fulfill the nursing shortage.
It has been repeated so often now that everyone knows this fact by heart. Nurses are a crucial component of healthcare today, but unfortunately, we do not have enough of them. There is a severe nurse shortage across the globe, and this shortage was even more prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the life expectancy of the elderly is increasing due to the rapid advancements in medicine, the number of patients is also increasing. However, there aren’t enough nurses to tend to each patient. It is a serious issue. The ICN reports nurse shortage as a global health emergency. So, if you are still doubtful, maybe this fact will help you reach a conclusive decision.
Who can change their careers to nursing?
Nursing has become a diverse field with room for accommodating people from all educational backgrounds. There is some kind of work available for everyone because nursing is not a bedside-only career anymore. It has evolved drastically over the last few decades, and today, there are countless nursing sub-professions that people from different educational backgrounds can easily transition into. Some of the most common professions that can quickly and easily transition to nursing include the following:
Professionals from within the healthcare field, such as individuals in the administration department, lab technicians, medical assistants, and paramedics, can transition into nursing if interested. These individuals already have a lot of medical and nursing knowledge but cannot perform any tasks practically because they do not have adequate professional training.
Former military medics often have a lot of valuable skills and experience in serving patients, as they are responsible for providing emergency medical aid to injured soldiers during the war. Hence, these individuals can easily transition into nursing by taking one or two accelerated nursing courses.
Teachers and educators
Teachers and educators who have an interest in nursing can easily switch their careers. A career in nursing education may be an appropriate match for you if you like teaching and assisting others. An individual with training as a registered nurse who educates both students and nurses is known as a nursing educator. Nursing educators frequently hold positions as academic teaching staff at educational institutions or clinical nursing educators in hospitals. Many educators in nursing continue to practice nursing alongside their educational role. The practice of patient care can aid nursing educators in maintaining their knowledge and skills while instructing. Teachers with professional experience and university qualifications can transition and become nurse educators by enrolling in an accelerated nurse educator program.
The move to becoming a certified nurse practitioner may be the next obvious step for you if you’re a social worker who wants to have a bigger impact on the healthcare industry. The transition from a social worker to a registered nurse can lead to new chances for both career and personal development. First, you’ll need to establish some foundations for your career as a nurse practitioner. This entails returning to school and continuing your education. A master’s degree is often required for nurse practitioner programs. Moving from social work into nursing can be rewarding. Although you’ll still use some of the same abilities, such as empathy and interpersonal skills, you’ll now be able to heal people via medical techniques.
Nursing informatics combines the disciplines of nursing, information science, and computer science to handle medical data and create and maintain data systems intended to enhance patient outcomes and increase a healthcare organization’s overall performance. Nursing informatics is a recently booming nursing profession with a lot of room for accommodating professionals with backgrounds in information technology. Tech subjects are rapidly becoming core components of the nursing syllabus so that nurses are trained from the beginning on how to use technology to their benefit.
Pharmacists go through extensive training during their bachelor’s degrees and cover a lot of the subjects that nurses are taught in their nursing degrees. As a result, they are well aware of many of the topics that nurses are trained in. So, if they decide to change their field from pharmacy to nursing mid-way through or after completing their degree, it should be relatively easy.
How to plan your career shift to nursing
No matter your goals, it is never too late to start chasing your passions, and nursing is an incredibly gratifying profession. Here are three success tips, along with a closer look at the process for switching jobs to nursing.
Fulfill the requirements.
People with a wide range of academic backgrounds can get into the nursing field, even those with degrees such as English or history. However, people with experience in the sciences often find the transition easier because nursing’s fundamentals are founded in the sciences. Suppose you already possess an education in one or more science subjects, such as a prior degree in chemistry, physics, biology, or physiology. In that case, you have probably already finished the necessary coursework for nursing school. Do not be concerned if you lack this history. You can always contact your nursing school of interest to gain details about what their entry requirements are and acceptable alternatives.
Get admitted to a nursing program that is accredited.
Although you may be able to become an RN with just an associate’s degree in nursing, career changers frequently decide to go for a bachelor’s degree since it is often the recommended or necessary education for a job in the industry. The demands of nurses who are pursuing second careers are catered to by several accelerated programs that are created expressly for non-nurse graduates. There are more program variations available as well, depending on your unique objectives and requirements. For non-nurse graduates, an accelerated 24-month curriculum may be an option. This would provide students who would rather work while completing their degree more freedom.
Work on completing the clinical requirements
You must also complete several clinical hours as part of the nursing coursework to gain the hands-on experience you’ll need in the workplace. Students can gain practical experience by participating in these clinical hours, often held in a hospital or clinic.
Prepare to pass the licensing exam.
The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is the next requirement you need to fulfill to become a registered nurse. You will be put to the test on a national level on both your practical nursing knowledge and abilities. To qualify for licensure, you have to clear the NCLEX-RN.
Get your nursing license.
Finally, you can apply for a license to practice after finishing a recognized nursing degree, achieving your clinical requirements, and passing the NCLEX-RN. The permit must be valid for the state you’re currently in or are planning to work in because each state in the US has its own licensing body.
Helpful tips to aid career change to nursing
Be mentally and physically prepared for the ups and downs
Although challenging, being an RN is a very rewarding and feasible goal. Students should familiarize themselves with the prerequisites and course content of the program they finally choose to enroll in to be ready for whatever this journey has in store. Becoming a nurse will be bumpy, but do not let that get you down. It will all be worth the effort once you have that degree.
If you have any questions or concerns, remember that you can always speak with an admissions advisor or a program consultant. Create a timetable that suits your requirements and keeps you on track to success by collaborating with your adviser and other faculty members throughout the program.
Rely on your support system.
Graduates are sometimes amazed at how fast the time seems to pass, even if 16 or 24 months may feel like a long time. When enrolling in an accelerated nursing program, students should have a solid support structure in place because there is a lot to learn during this time. Ensure your support system includes your family, friends, and peers who can assist you in striking a balance between your commitments in life and your academic obligations. Even though pursuing a second career in nursing might be difficult at times, with the proper people by your side, you can succeed.
Don’t miss out on chances to learn new skills.
Seize chances to gain actual work experience in the industry. After finishing their first clinical course, for instance, students can work as nursing assistants, which is a terrific method to develop their knowledge and expertise. Additionally, it’s a fantastic opportunity to network to land a job. Besides, consider how your prior work experience may be used in nursing. This will set you apart and give you an edge over other nurses.