Nursing can be a very rewarding career, especially when you understand the full scope of what you can do with it. When your specialization is in human health, you can work wherever people are. You can work in the healthcare sector and make a big difference for those most in need. You can work privately. You can work in research and development. You can even work in entertainment in health and safety.
There are so many great applications for a nursing degree. Nurses also earn more than many other professions, with the chance of big pay increases coming soon.
Nurses are essential workers as well. You will never have to worry about not being able to find work. There are simply too many open nursing positions in the country for you to ever be without work for long. You can even take your career into your own hands and become a travel nurse, which is essentially working freelance as you see fit at different healthcare institutions around the country.
You have a lot of freedom as a nurse. If you want to travel around the country and really get to know the different areas, you can become a nurse within the eNLC and work as a travel nurse until you find that perfect place to call your own. You can even work internationally as a nurse, thanks to the reduced immigration restrictions for nurses.
Every country, every state, every town needs a great nurse. If you love to help others and believe that the patient should come first, rather than the medicine, then nursing is the perfect fit for you.
Parents, caregivers, empathetic people, and those who love to be challenged are all excellent fits for nurses. The best news, of course, is that you don’t have to dedicate your career to nursing from the offset.
If you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, in any subject, and have already started a career you no longer want to work in, then consider nursing as your second career.
Signs it Is Time to Find a Second Career
Starting a second career is not the same as finding a new job. Second careers require training and often mean starting from the bottom. This can be very daunting for those who are comfortable with where they are, even if they do not care for the work that you do.
A good way to determine if you are ready for a second career, or just need a new change of scenery, is to look ahead. What does your future look like in your current role? If you aren’t excited about where you can take your career, and especially if you dread it, then it is time to make a big change.
If you do like the possible futures for yourself in your current career trajectory, then find an employer who can help you get there, or even try striking out on your own with your own business.
Why Nursing Is the Perfect Second Career
Though a second career is a very personal thing, and you will want to do some soul searching before you make a commitment, do know that when it comes to second careers, nursing is one of the best options available.
- You can make a huge difference to others’ lives
One of the biggest reasons why many turn to nursing in the first place is because of how well you can help others in that role. You can change lives. You can save lives. The care that you provide makes a big impact on your patients and their families.
Nurses are one of the most trusted figures in society. They are respected, too. Working as a nurse means working to make the world a better place, one patient at a time. If you are looking to make that sort of impact, then there are few roles that will allow you to do so than nursing will.
- There are so many ways to customize your nursing career
Nursing is more than being an RN. RNs do make up the bulk of nursing and are the backbone of healthcare, but they are not the only nursing position available. You will need to continue your education in order to open up your options, of course.
As an RN (registered nurse), you can work in any healthcare setting, from hospitals to clinics to even research institutions. As an APRN (advanced practice registered nurse), however, you can start leading teams, and in some states, can even start your own clinic. To become an APRN, you will need an MSN at minimum. Some roles, like Nurse Director or Nurse Educator, will require you to earn a doctorate on top of your MSN.
If you love to learn and want a clearly defined career, then nursing is a great choice. More often than not, moving up in nursing is a matter of enrolling in the right degree, finishing your training, and then getting hired.
- You can accelerate your training
You don’t need to start from scratch when it comes to nursing. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, then you can accelerate your efforts. The best online accelerated BSN programs can be completed in just 16 months. You will be fully trained with 100% online education, a 10-day intensive on-campus clinical immersion experience where you will be taught in a state-of-the-art simulation lab, and of course, through your clinical placement.
High-quality, accredited accelerated degrees like these come with a 100% graduate employment rate, and will prepare you as a BSN-level RN.
- You have job security
There is a shortage of nurses. By 2030 there will be an estimated 7 million to 13 million unfilled nurse positions around the world. This shortage exists right here in the United States as well. In fact, the shortage has never been as bad as it is right now. Between this shortage and the pandemic, many governments around the world are reconsidering the nursing profession. This could mean higher pay and more benefits in order to encourage more people to start a career in nursing, and also existing nurses to stay.
For now, it means you are almost guaranteed a job. So long as you are legally qualified, you will be able to find work within the first year after you graduate.
- You have flexibility
If you earn a license within the eNLC (the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact), then you will automatically have a multi-state license. This license makes it easy to transfer your nursing credentials from state to state. If you ever want to move somewhere else for a fresh start or to a new state where the living costs are cheaper, then an eNLC nurse license will make it easy. You will enjoy the same level of job security wherever you go, and can therefore confidently make big changes for yourself, like moving to a new state.
How to Successfully Start Your Second Career in Nursing
To successfully start a second career in nursing, you will want to use these tips:
- Decide which education option is right for you
If you already have a degree, then you will want to go for the accelerated BSN route. Most BSNs are full-time, meaning you will need to quit your job to take on your degree. In exchange for quitting your job, you will be able to work as an RN much faster.
If it is important that you stay employed, then there are part-time accelerated degrees. The accelerated in this instance simply means that you only complete the nursing credits, as you will already have the other non-nursing credits under your belt.
In some instances, you may need to complete the credits you didn’t earn in your current bachelors before beginning the nursing degree. Take these credits on part-time while you work, and then make the decision as to how you intend to approach your BSN after the fact.
- Find a balance
Studying online means being able to save during your degree. What may make it difficult is the fact that you need to manage your own time.
A good way to approach your degree, and even your nursing career after, is with a healthy routine. Always prioritize your health and wellbeing. Without fortifying your physical and mental health, you will find it all too easy to burn out both during study and work.
- Ask for help
Another very important tip to remember is to ask for help. Get friends and family to help you offset your load, especially when deadlines loom. Don’t just look for favors, either. Understand yourself and your budget. You may find it actually cheaper to opt for meal kits if you end up paying too much for takeout all the time, for example.
There are laundry services, cleaning services, dog walking services and more. Just knowing your options can help you fall back on these services in emergencies, so you don’t have to panic if an unexpected situation arises.
- Continue learning
Healthcare is always evolving. There are massive amounts of research involved, and new discoveries made every day. Continue to learn by reading, listening to podcasts, and expanding your understanding of the world. You don’t have to stick with just medical science, either. You work with patients first, so anything you can do to boost your understanding of your patients better will make you a better nurse and person.